The Hyperloop Has Fans in the White House

Apr 4th, 2017 | Posted by

This was a sad yet unsurprising thing to see come out of this morning’s CEO summit at the Trump White House:

There’s really nothing more fitting than a former Goldman Sachs exec who now has a prominent role in the Trump Administration touting the Hyperloop – which we might now want to call the “Trump Train.”

Infrastructure was a major focus of the meeting, but don’t go getting your hopes up anytime soon that this would mean more money for transportation in California:

Cohn said if cities “sell off” or privatize infrastructure assets, the administration could provide financial support.

“We’re not on the cutting edge of this,” Cohn said. “We’ve got to get a little more comfortable with public-private partnerships.”

This is a recipe for looting on a colossal scale. They’re planning to gut regulations to make this possible, which may signal an assault on the National Environmental Policy Act that some readers here may welcome:

President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to cut red tape to speed up approval of infrastructure projects and said his overhaul could top $1 trillion on roads, tunnels and bridges, one of his 2016 election campaign promises….

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said at the forum that the administration plans to release a legislative package in May. Investors have become more skeptical that the plan would win approval this year in Congress, which is controlled by Republicans who are traditionally wary of big spending.

Trump said building a highway can require dozens of approvals and take 10 to 20 years, a process he vowed to speed up. Trump said he would not fund projects that cannot be started within 90 days.

I’m not sure there are a whole lot of projects you can just start within 90 days. Oh wait, I know of one: Caltrain electrification!

More seriously, this is going to be a roads and freeways bonanza, with little money for rail. This administration is committed to going down with the ship that is fossil fuels. It is determined to destroy this country by abandoning all efforts to stop climate change and build a more sustainable transportation system. California is going to have to fund that system itself, because the federal government is lost and not coming back anytime soon.

  1. trentbridge
    Apr 4th, 2017 at 17:43
    #1

    Don’t worry – this is in the way:

    House and Senate negotiators of both parties are racing to reach agreement on a spending package to prevent a government shutdown on April 28.

    Members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees intend to have a bill ready the week of April 24, just days before the current stopgap funding for federal agencies is set to expire, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said Monday. The timeline is especially tight because lawmakers are scheduled to be in session only about a dozen days between now and the midnight April 28 deadline.

    President Trump has complicated their work by sending over a controversial emergency request for $30 billion in extra funding for defense programs and $3 billion for border security, including $1.5 billion for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. He would partially offset the cost with $18 billion in unspecified cuts to domestic programs — a trade-off that Democrats and some Republicans oppose.

    This is when the fireworks begin! There will be nothing achieved on this without some bipartisan support and there’s no reason to expect any of that will survive if the “nuclear option” is invoked. The President has the political skills of a surgeon wearing boxing gloves and blindfolded.

    [Reply]

  2. Roland
    Apr 4th, 2017 at 20:16
    #2

    Calexit cometh: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/us/california-today-defying-trump-with-sanctuary-bill.html?_r=0

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    All this is going to do is make ICE more aggressive, as they won’t be expected to communicate with local police at all. TSA, in my Caltrain? It’s more likely than you’d think.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    ICE don’t communicate now so this does nothing to make them ore agressive — they like it and do it willfully and with joy.

    What ICE wanted is for local police to illegally hold people until a immigration status can be determined by ICE when ICE gets around to checking.

    I’m not required to carry citizenship papers so police are not able to determine status as they police.

    TSA on Caltrain isn’t going to happen — you don’t understand Federalism.

    [Reply]

  3. Roland
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 01:56
    #3
  4. Matthew Fedder
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 05:02
    #4

    Trump Tube

    [Reply]

  5. Roland
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 10:56
    #5

    February of 2017 caused unprecedented service outages for ACE passengers. As promised to passengers, ACE is committed to making it right, and is offering 30% off the purchase of a May monthly pass.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1624583290903264/

    [Reply]

  6. Roland
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 10:58
    #6

    Breaking News: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-04-05/high-speed-rail-plans-unveiled-agency-plans-peninsula-meetings-on-alignments-6-mile-passing-track-from-san-mateo-to-redwood-city/1776425178337.html

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Without the proposed passing tracks, Alley said high-speed rail trains would use areas where Caltrain has existing passing tracks — which the Peninsula agency uses for its baby bullet trains.” O-M-G. I NEVER saw that one coming. The Horror!!!

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Welcome to cascading delay hell!

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I don’t think we need bullets when Caltrain is electrified.

    The SJ to SF travel time for all stop local is 1:33 with 20 between stops and 1:03 & 4 stops for a bullet.
    A 30 minute difference.

    The average dwell time is 58 sec.
    When level boarding EMUs Clem estimates dwell can be cut to 30 seconds.

    Compared to today’s bullet all stop local trains with level boarding would be only 20 minutes slower end to end.

    EMUs also have a faster average speed due to the performance advantages.

    Locals would be ~15 minute penalty or less over today’s 4 stop bullet.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How much more could curve-straightening cut?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    For effort expended: Level boarding as the greatest positive impact AFAIK. Then improved average speed b/c EMUs can reach max speed quicker, then curve straightening.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Retards belong here: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    And you, Roland?

    [Reply]

    Bdawe Reply:

    This forum really needs some sort of ban function.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Roland is the retard.

    For a reasonable discussion of the issues, @Clem’s post here Top 10 Worst Curves gives some insight on the time savings.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    By straightening those 10, plus some more lesser offenders, along with other projects mentioned above, I think a SJ-SF local train would take only about 10 minuites longer than existing baby bullets. Perhaps some stop-pruining is warranted. Furthermore, the SJ-TBT time could be cut a lot more by picking a sane DTX routing (https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NqVoJS8Kve0/V8fQuuVACLI/AAAAAAAAEUI/0QS4ucUJmtUFeaSsJ0QDZtx1BdHovG2CgCLcB/s1600/Surging%2BSeas_SF%2B5%2527%2B7thHoward_2ndPost.jpg)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Due to curves, Clem estimated 5 minutes travel time for the last SF station, from SF mission bay to SF TBT.

    This is the trip time estimate used in his schedule spreadsheet.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Which just goes to show how awful the DTX alignment is.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: Ben in SF knows where the SF Mission Bay station will be located!!!

    [Reply]

    Ben Pease Reply:

    I said nothing of the sort. The arbiter of who’s on the wrong blog should go get his own wrong blog.

    Roland Reply:

    Wrong Ben:
    Joe Reply:
    April 7th, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Due to curves, Clem estimated 5 minutes travel time for the last SF station, from SF mission bay to SF TBT.

    This is the trip time estimate used in his schedule spreadsheet.

    Roland Reply:

    Ben in SF Reply:
    April 6th, 2017 at 7:45 am

    (The above is not Ben in SF, but Clem. I am the new Ben. I hope the new Clem behaves himself)

    Ben Pease Reply:

    You heard what I said. Tone down the snark, especially about people who actually think (and think well) before they write. As for me, I’m a mapmaker, I can put Mission Bay station any damned place I want.

    Roland Reply:

    Are you the new Ben or the new Clem?

    joe Reply:

    Roland seems puzzled and agitates about these stations which indicates Roland is unfamiliar with and possibly has NOT seen this sheet nor has a clue about estimates.

    The worksheet has these station locations (along a track)

    Station Stops
    Stop Name Milepost
    SF Transbay -1.2
    Mission Bay 0.2
    22nd St 1.9

    Station pairs distance and travel time in seconds
    SF Transbay Mission Bay 1.2 miles in 276 sec
    Mission Bay 22nd St 1.7 miles 169 sec

    (*) fudge factor is used to add time to certain segments that do not allow maximum speed, e.g. terminal approaches or segments with tight curves.

    Roland Reply:

    Joe seems puzzled and agitated about these stations which indicates Joe is unfamiliar with and possibly has NOT seen this alignment nor has a clue about estimates.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B80uFwx71YrKenZvVUZ3S0R4S1U/view

    joe Reply:

    Here is the XLS sheet for those interested in the travel times and stations.
    http://www.tillier.net/stuff/caltrain/timetable_builder.xls

    The explanation is here: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/01/tao-of-timetables.html

    Aarond Reply:

    Low hanging fruit, because Belmont and San Carlos already got grade seps so they can’t stall the project. Only issue is figuring out downtown San Mateo and downtown Redwood City, but both are cooperative and want it.

    With that done, Caltrain can then focus on Burlingame and Menlo-Atherton.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    The plan being proposed & discussed is from south of 9th Ave in San Mateo, which is south of downtown, to Whipple Ave in Redwood City, which is north of downtown. So neither downtowns are an issue at all.

    [Reply]

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    4 tracks now, 4 tracks now.
    See cover of next Steel Wheels

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Wait until you see the plans for Hillsdale’s 4 tracks!!!

    [Reply]

  7. JJJ
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 16:44
    #7

    Well a Trump endorsement is a fantastic way to let people know the idea is crap.

    Off topic: Anyone been to Stockton ACE station recently? Do Amtrak trains stop at platform now or do they still unload in the intersection? Street-view shows the station track now connects to the main line.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Platform

    #not Jerry#

    [Reply]

  8. JJJ
    Apr 5th, 2017 at 16:45
    #8

    Also, WTF is this:
    https://flic.kr/p/T9TeSB

    Are we going to be looking at concrete for the entire journey!?! I want to see oranges.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Nah, those won’t block your view. The floorheight alone will be about 50 inches, not even counting the window height.

    [Reply]

    swing hanger Reply:

    Precisely, and the height of the sidewalls permits sound baffles to be installed on the inside

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Loving it :-)

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    There are no sound baffles in the plans that I’ve seen.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Floor will be 50 inches above top-of-rail. Top of rail will probably be somewhere around the middle of the bottom row of champagne bubbles.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not an issue if you can afford a 1st class seat on the upper deck.
    http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/PRG-letter-of-7-Feb-2017-Reduced.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Done deal, eh?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Did someone forget to tell you that our friend Ben Tripousis is about to write a check for $20M to Caltrain together with a letter of apology for pissing away two years and $20M on CalFranKISSentrains?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    You are referring to the federal grant termination and impact on electrification. There is not one change in the requirements or plans.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    I must really be out of the loop…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The oranges are on the other side :-)

    [Reply]

    Alan Reply:

    Almost looks like the inside of a TARDIS…

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    The only Orange you’ll get to see is Trump’s hairdo, if he has his way with concrete and Hyperlink. Rail is SO retarded!

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Sorry, should have been “Hyperloop.”

    [Reply]

    RobBob Reply:

    I’ve noticed in a lot of european countries that they have put berms on either side of the tracks, I guess to reduce noise to nearby residents. Not nearly the nice experience you get from US rail.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The two berms on either side of the tracks are referred to as the sides of a trench in European countries.

    [Reply]

  9. Roland
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 00:00
    #9

    Short list of rail operators is in: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article142923849.html

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I want XpressWest

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where are they gonna get the money to build their line from?

    [Reply]

  10. Roland
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 01:16
    #10

    The plans are in, complete with 4 tracks through Belmont and San Carlos. YES!!!
    Hayward Park is well-designed and Hillsdale is a complete SamTrans/Clem/Richard fustercluck. Par-Tay, J-O-B-S: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanFran_SanJose/SF_SJ_Alternative_B_PassingTrack_SM4T.pdf

    [Reply]

    Ben in SF Reply:

    It’s the straw man option, so they can screw Caltrain because other “alternatives” elicited strong community opposition in Belmont and San Carlos. You see, it’s not just 4 tracks, but 4 tracks on a 100-foot tall box beam stilt-a-rail viaduct, per the exact plan that was drawn up and shelved in 2010.

    [Reply]

    Ben in SF Reply:

    (The above is not Ben in SF, but Clem. I am the new Ben. I hope the new Clem behaves himself)

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    I’ll just here leave you this time with a welcome mat out from the Pacific Northwest.
    We here, not just my own bias, need you rail guys. I’ll continue my efforts for trains that reign in Spain, (hey that rhymed), Talgo-type trainsets Amtrak Cascades. I’ve been on Acela and am convinced ride comfort is ‘much better’ on Talgo. Oh well… The CRC is back on the table, nevermind fiasco or which agencies blew it last time (wsdot & both ports) AND mister trump’s oil pipelines and train hauling to new export facilities are on line. We need national attention on oil/gas/coal by rail, as if it never would form a permanent, if last, testament to human civilization. Resist bad design.

    The wealthy have getaway surviving townships sufficiently staffed.
    Stopped driving cars by more than half.
    (hey that rhymed)
    Elon Musk may be saying ‘waste money’ on my ideas.
    Hyperloop is an epitome of the absurd.
    I Burned Elon Musk, I burned Elon Musk, nyaa nyaa (^:

    [Reply]

    Ben in SF Reply:

    And this is the old Ben in SF. Honored to be Clem.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Are they planning to fix the San Bruno curve? See the last sheet in this PDF: http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanFran_SanJose/SF_SJ_Alternative_A_Part1.pdf

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    That was me (Jon), not J. Wang.

    Robert, are you aware that this bug is exposing people’s email addresses to others? You really need to get this fixed.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not gonna happen: https://youtu.be/PXxn3aP5_eE?t=331

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    So where can comments be added? I’m supposing this is the plan that was presented (and again next week) at the outreach meetings?

    So it looks like their going with SFFS even though this requires a complete rebuild of both Hillsdale (after it is moved to 28th!) and of Belmont! (I’m not counting Hayward Park although with a pedestrian tunnel anyway FSSF would work too.)

    How can we get @Clem’s FSSF blog post submitted?

    (Also are they straightening the Hayward Park curve?)

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    SFFS must be easier to build on the elevated section.
    The station platforms can hang out over the sides of the otherwise narrow right of way.
    A center platform would require the elevated box decks to split in 2 over a considerable distance to get around the center platform, taking the structure footprint outside of the existing right-of-way.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Given the cost and opposition, will an elevated section ever be needed?

    CA has to comply with Prop1a in all construction, design and planning.
    Prop1a will be exhausted during Phase 1.
    SJ to SF is NOT IN Phase 1.

    When prop1a is spent, the SF to SJ section no longer has to comply with a 30 minute travel time.

    Going back to Clem’s work producing schedules (XLS) and his performance estimates, it’s possible with an EMU and 125 max speed ROW, to make SJ to TBT in 30 minutes.
    110 MPH max speed is 33 minutes. With no stops, acceleration isn’t as important as max speed so a HSR train would perform about the same.

    Can a 125 MPH ROW be built without elevated track? Is 110 MPH and 3 minutes worth the cost and impact?

    No prop1a litigation since the bond act will have expired.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think you mis-spoke @joe: SF-SJ is in phase 1 as far as Prop 1a is concerned. It probably won’t be part of the IOS except by transfer to Caltrain.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Right! I mis-referenced the business plan.

    SF-SJ is still in Phase 1. End result is, I think SJ-SF can be achieved with travel times very close to Prop1a for billions less $ and less visual impact. Also Prop1a will not matter when they reachthat segment.

    The 2016 Business Plan’s approach to Phase 1 expends all Prop1a money reaching only to SJ. It doesn’t complete Phase 1.

    Correcting the reference, while important, doesn’t change the fact HSR’s plan for prop1a $$ avoided building SJ-to-SF and thus eliminates travel time restrictions triggered by Prop1a funds for that segment. The segment is officially TBD. Caltrain Transfers will help with ridership but remain out of the system.

    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/business_plans/2016_BusinessPlan.pdf
    The

    “2016 Business Plan…Lays out an approach to sequencing the Phase 1 system that will ultimately connect the San Francisco Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin via the Central Valley with high-speed passenger rail service.”

    The business plan “shows that the line that can be funded and built within projected sources, and initiate revenue producing operations on quickly, connects the Silicon Valley (San Jose) to the Central Valley near the existing Construction Package 4 southern construction terminus north of Bakersfield). The Silicon Valley to Central Valley line, from Diridon Station in San Jose to a station north of Bakersfield, which includes an interim facility that functions as a temporary station, meets Proposition 1A requirements including non-subsidized operations. It can be built with available funding from Proposition 1A bonds, federal funds and the continued anticipated Cap and Trade proceeds.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “SFFS must be easier to build on the elevated section.
    The station platforms can hang out over the sides of the otherwise narrow right of way.
    A center platform would require the elevated box decks to split in 2 over a considerable distance to get around the center platform, taking the structure footprint outside of the existing right-of-way.”

    No kidding and it is also much faster (AKA less expensive) to build: the two outer (S) tracks and platforms are built first and the middle two (FF) tracks are built later. Looking at the plans, this is exactly is what Hayward Park looks like (including the only possible application of back-to-back cantilevers on a high speed line), so the Hillsdale fustercluck boondoggle is beyond bizarre.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The middle two tracks would be difficult to build later because the outside tracks would block access for machines and materials.
    The plans show the elevated section is built using two parallel box girders each supported by a single pillar, suggesting the build out sequence would be:
    • Move existing tracks to left side of ROW.
    • Build elevated double track on right side of ROW.
    • Move existing tacks to new elevated position.
    • Build elevated double track on left side of ROW.
    It will be a challenge to keep the platforms operating throughout the transition.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Has it ever occurred to you that SFFS construction uses one of the two new S tracks to construct the two FF tracks?
    With regards to the Hillsdale “plans”, kindly help me understand which part of what happened in San Bruno it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    So the proposal shows Hillsdale as SpFFpS (where p stands for platform). Any idea why? Are they thinking of using it as a station for HSR?

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    I wondered the same thing, but as a ‘proposal’ it does require more consideration.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. Did you just uncover why this mother of all SamTrans/Clem/Richard fusterclucks is going to cost $180M (and counting)?

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Why is @Clem responsible for any of this?

    The cost of the proposed Hillsdale relocation and grade separation is $165M. San Mateo/Caltrain’s proposal is independent of what HSR is proposing. @Clem has already suggested how HSR can upgrade the new Hillsdale station to 4-tracks w/o entirely rebuilding the station. (Note that HSR alternative 1 is no 4-track, which of course, would not require any rebuild.)

    We already know that you believe that the 25th Ave grade separation should not be implemented at this time. I would suggest that if San Mateo follows your advice, they redirect all complaints for the resultant gridlock to you, @Roland.

    The point being, you cannot coordinate all possibilities for all time. Each agent (San Mateo in this case) must proceed independently because they cannot wait for all parties.

    I doubt very much that even if the proposed alternative 2 is accepted by the Authority what is actually built will differ in the details including the ultimate form of the Hillsdale station.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    And I know CA HSR is providing part of the $165M. It doesn’t change anything that I said.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly point me to a SIGNED MOU for the $84M in Prop1A bonds before repeating the same old nonsense again.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    MOU?

    MOU’s are non binding agreements.

    You don’t understand.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    MOUs are even less binding when some of the parties refuse to sign them.

    You don’t understand.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Your comment to J Wong was both condescending and mistaken.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly point me to a SIGNED MOU for the $84M in Prop1A bonds before repeating the same old nonsense again.

    Joe Reply:

    San Mateo’s project — which has been touted as a model for how these costly grade separations should be funding — draws from various city, county and state sources. The California High-Speed Rail Authority agreed in August to offer up $84 million, San Mateo is kicking in $6 million, and another $10 million is sought from the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans.

    – See more at: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-10-10/hillsdale-station-nears-move-san-mateo-secures-another-65m-toward-caltrain-grade-separation-project/1776425169579.html#sthash.pRDbix9I.dpuf

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly point me to a SIGNED MOU for the $84M in Prop1A bonds before repeating the same old nonsense again.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    I think you could explain it this sad way: Roland somehow believes (and resents) that I have some sort of influence over planning decisions, which of course I do not. This ridiculous belief is born from the conceit that his own frequent appearances in front of various public agency boards confer him any sort of influence over planning decisions… which of course they do not. Sad!

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Ha! The number of times I’ve read minutes stating something along the lines of: Roland Lebrun, San Jose, proposed to the board that…..

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How could anyone somehow believe, let alone resent your complete lack of influence over planning decisions? This ridiculous belief is born from the conceit that incoherent utterances posted on your private soapbox somehow confer you any sort of influence over planning decisions… Sad!

    [Reply]

  11. Loren Petrich
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 03:03
    #11

    The Hyperloop is far from shovel-ready. So why are they interested in it?

    As to running in tunnels, I’ll extrapolate from the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a hard-rock tunnel, though without evacuated tubes or maglev components. In 2010 dollars, it cost about $133 million per kilometer or $214 million per mile.

    For LA – SF, that implies a cost of $74 billion, while for LA – NYC, that implies $523 billion.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The GBT tunnels are 9.58 meters in diameter: https://www.herrenknecht.com/en/references/case-studies/gotthard-base-tunnel.html

    The passenger-only hyperloop only needs 2.23 meters (3.3 meters for passenger/freight).
    http://www.spacex.com/hyperloopalpha

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And Reardon metal to construct the tubes and a vacuum pump that can move tonnes of air a second.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “A” vacuum pump as in a single vacuum pump for the entire Hyperloop ???
    Also, what makes you think that Spacex does not know how to manufacture metal tubes?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Do they know how to manufacture metal tubes hundreds of kilometers long, that don’t expand as the temperature goes up during the day and contract when the temperature goes down at night? Reardon metal!
    Or they have to figure out expansion joints that can withstand the abuse they will be getting as pods whoooooosh by. Reardon metal!

    I’m coming up with 8.5 tonnes of air per kilometer of 2.23 meter diameter tube. Big brawny pumps moving tonnes and tonnes of air, all up and down the line.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) Can you spell R-O-C-K-E-T?
    2) The Hyperloop is expected to maintain its vacuum (barring any leaks). Why are you expecting “big brawny pumps” to move ” tonnes and tonnes of air, all up and down the line”?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Rockets aren’t hundreds of kilometers long. If they expand a bit when the sun comes up they get a bit taller.
    Someone else who has the patience calculate how much a steel tube 600 kilometers long would expand and contract between coldest winter day and hottest summer day came up with 300 meters. Or you need expansion joints all up and down the line. Which will leak. And never ever fail because that would be very very messy.

    Reardon metal one way or the other.

    They are proposing a very small fraction of an atmosphere. Which as to moved out of the way of the pod hurtling along. Or the tube has to be bigger.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/AcKZF_QHUJI. Do you REALLY think these guys need your help?
    If so, they are recruiting: http://www.spacex.com/careers. Good luck!!!

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    High-speed rail will have a 600km long continuous welded steel rail with no expansion joints. Too keep it from buckling on a hot day they normally mechanically stretch the oven heated rail before bolting it to the ground every 2 feet. If the temperature got really low the tension could break a rail, but that in unlikely in California.
    A pipe that is supported by pillars 100ft apart would be more difficult to pre-stretch. Any expansion of the pipe would tend to cause the center of the pipe to sag slightly creating and uncomfortable vertical vibration for a 700mph pod.

    [Reply]

    DTP Reply:

    There also won’t be 600 km of CWR… While CWR doesn’t have regular joints, it will still have quite a few of them – at switches and at signals (so as to isolate track circuits). So there’s even less likelihood of rail failing due to temperature fluctuation.

    Roland Reply:

    Can you elaborate on “joints at switches” and “track circuits”?

    DTP Reply:

    Look at a switch up close sometime. The rails on the inside of the switch have joints in them to allow wheel flanges through.

    Switches also generally come in prefab panels, which may or may not be welded to the adjacent CWR when installed.

    And I’m not sure how CAHSR will handle signalling, but standard practice for a while now has been to run a low electric current through the rails. When a train is on a stretch of track, the wheels touching it complete a circuit, which is how the dispatcher, and any automatic signals, know that that stretch of track is occupied. At the ends of signal blocks, there will be a joint in the rail to isolate each block from the others.

    wdobner Reply:

    1) Can you spell R-O-C-K-E-T?

    They don’t do particularly well with the metal tubes in those, and they’re less than ten feet long.

    2) The Hyperloop is expected to maintain its vacuum (barring any leaks). Why are you expecting “big brawny pumps” to move ” tonnes and tonnes of air, all up and down the line”?

    The whole system is *designed* to leak. The vehicle itself uses air introduced around its envelope to lubricate its interface with the tunnel wall. While the air for that caster system is slated to come from the compressor, at low speeds every design I’ve come across uses compressed or liquified air to provide that lubrication. Any hypeloop system is going to have to maintain a large number of vacuum pumping stations along with their attendant energy and extreme maintenance costs.

    Wheel-rail interface wear is nothing when compared to the nightmare that is maintaining dozens of lab-grade vacuum pumps scattered through the boonies.

    And CWR does have expansion joints: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breather_switch

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha-20130812.pdf

    [Reply]

    wdobner Reply:

    Yes, I am familiar, but given your erroneous statements on the matter it’s a good thing you’ve found a reference.

    But thanks for posting that. I’d forgotten his original proposal was to use water as a heat sink and to just dump that overboard once the compressor had turned it to steam. There’s a role for those vacuum pumps you insist wouldn’t be needed, and every one of them would be emitting a greenhouse gas.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they are going to put solar panels on the top of it…

    wdobner Reply:

    And? Never mind that those solar panels would be every bit as ineffective at providing all the power for a hypeloop segment as they’ve been in any other application, what does that have to do with water vapor emissions?

    The white paper claims they’ll capture the steam for condensing at each station. Except Elon’s flow diagram shows 300kg of water at standard temperature and pressure and a steam vessel at some unspecified temperature and pressure. For that water to become steam it’s going to experience a thousand-fold increase in volume. The 0.3 cubic meters of water would become 300 cubic meters of steam. That’d be somewhere between two and four hypeloop capsules. Any compression or cooling of the steam would only serve to complicate the thermodynamics. So the only solution for Elon’s water chilled intercooler is to dump the exhaust into the tunnel and let the vacuum pumps remove it.

    At least a few proposals use cryogenic gasses as the heat sink, which would not need to be dumped overboard, but bring a whole other set of fun failure modes to the table.

    Roland Reply:

    “With an expected solar panel energy production of 0.015 hp/ft2 (120 W/m2 ), we can expect the system
    to produce a maximum of 382,000 hp (285 MW) at peak solar activity. This would actually be more energy than needed for the Hyperloop system”

    agb5 Reply:

    Clearly all of that solar energy belongs to the farmer, who, according to the business model is not getting any financial compensation for having the pipes crossing above his field.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The cyrogenic gases work just like your refrigerator, they suck up the heat by evaporating. A really quick search for what liquid nitrogen costs, finds “50 cents a liter”, if you want it delivered on a schedule in large amounts. They could drive down the costs but it’s still not a cheap way to cool things off. It would exhaust into the tube just like the steam. If it’s not exhausting into the tube it’s not carrying off the heat. . . really big pumps closely spaced that are redundant with backups so that the pods can gently decelerate when there is as problem. Or it’s not pretty all the way back to the airlocks. airlocks.. the mockups of pretty little stations are pretty little. Or the headways are lousy.
    …. 30 second headways, two minutes to pressurize the airlock, two minutes to unload the passengers, two minutes to load the passengers and two minutes to depressurize the airlock means 20-ish airlocks? Not that I think 30 second headways are possible.

    agb5 Reply:

    Hyperloop pipes from SF to LA would have about 30,000,000 cubic meters under vacuum, which is more than 3000 times bigger than the world current biggest volume under vacuum at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
    It can take 2 weeks of constant pumping to create the vacuum in the LHC, but to be fair they are emptying the tube of every last gas molocule.

    https://home.cern/about/engineering/vacuum-empty-interstellar-space

    [Reply]

    wdobner Reply:

    That’s an excellent point. Working from your 30 million cubic meters I believe it’d take something like 20 hours to pump that tube down to the 100Pa stated for Hypeloop, assuming a flow rate of 3000m^3/sec. So really just five or six jet engines worth of pumping power to make it ready within a day. I’d hate to be the MofW director agonizing over a multi-day shutdown to perform even the most basic maintenance on the inside of the tube.

    I mentioned dust before, but FOD would be an absolute nightmare in that environment. One workman drops a bolt, doesn’t notice it, and it’s all over for a capsule and the next dozen or so following close behind.

    agb5 Reply:

    In addition to dust, water vapor is going to condense out of the air and form droplets inside the pipe. In the area of the pipe that goes in a roller coaster style loop over the mountains, water droplets are going to flow downhill, forming a river inside the pipe at the bottom of the mountain.
    Imaging a pod aquaplaning at 700mph.

    zorro Reply:

    Hyperloop, an air pressure train, haha, that’s not new, it’s old failed tech with a new name back in the 1860’s…

    What is old, is new again, and just as slow as ever…

    Hyperloops Direct Ancestor, what is Old, is New once again

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_the_Earth_to_the_Moon

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Apparently they have given up on the hovercraft concept and are going with something mag-lev-ish.
    That still doesn’t solve the problem of making vacuum proof expansion joints that never ever never fail. A small failure would be really really messy. All the way back to the air lock. Failure of the seals on a pod would be almost as bad.

    [Reply]

    Ben Pease Reply:

    With maglev, I imagine you could just pay for your ride by putting your credit card in a special holder under the train. :-)

    wdobner Reply:

    Apparently they have given up on the hovercraft concept and are going with something mag-lev-ish.

    Mr. Musk’s approach of releasing his concept for others to develop has lead to a much more shotgun spray approach which somehow manages to check every gadgetbahn box. One minute it’ll be buried, the next elevated, the next day it’ll be a complete vacuum and use maglev tech, then it’s back to the air pressure stabilized variant. None of that matters because it exists solely to offer HSR opponents a “better” alternative that will never be built to ensure the car and plane reign supreme in the LA-SF corridor.

    It’s ludicrous that anyone positioning themselves as a commentator on mass transit could be suckered in by the claims put out by the hypeloop advocates.

    That still doesn’t solve the problem of making vacuum proof expansion joints that never ever never fail. A small failure would be really really messy. All the way back to the air lock.

    They don’t really need air tight expansion joints so long as they accept that they’ll constantly have to evacuate air, which they’re going to have to do anyway. It’s unfortunate Elon’s white paper is tellingly silent on the matter of the energy cost to maintain the partial vacuum. He acknowledges the pumps would have to run continuously, but in claiming it could be energy-self-sufficient with solar panels (which as with all other solar installations, is not true), he completely ignores the energy those pumps would use.

    I’ve always wondered about their ability to keep dust out of the tube. With a reduced air pressure and vehicles moving through at more than 500MPH four times a minute even the most minute amount of grit or dust introduced will quickly start to abrade the interior of the tube. And then there’s the electrically powered half-jet engine on the front, which is unlikely to take kindly to a dusty environment, even as every joint tries to suck in SJ Valley fines.

    Failure of the seals on a pod would be almost as bad.

    That’s a really good point. He’s proposing a system which puts the interior of the cabin in a shirtsleeve environment despite the capsule at the pressure altitude of 150,000ft with absolutely massive doors which open outward(!) dividing the two environments. Couldn’t he go ask the U-2 crews at Beale what it’s like at twice that pressure?

    zorro Reply:

    According to the Wiki Hyperloop is propelled by air pressure, just like with the pneumatic railroad(NEW name, OLD technology, from the 1860’s, it was slower than one could walk, had 1 station, and a 312′ tunnel), when did this mutate into a vacuum?

    Related developments

    The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway was a similar but longer system which operated in 1864 on the grounds of The Crystal Palace in London.

    In 2013, entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed a Hyperloop system, which would propel capsules through tubes at high speeds using pressurized air.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Latest and greatest, My ass, Hyperloop was a FAILURE in the late 19th Century…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly refer to section 4.3 on page 32 (propulsion)
    http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha-20130812.pdf

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    They could make the tubes out of Invar, but probably not at an economically viable cost.
    Airbus makes its composite wing molds out of Invar so that the shape of the mold does not change while the composite material inside the mold is being cooked at a high temperature.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/t1dq5JzZxkE?t=564

    [Reply]

  12. webster
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 04:38
    #12

    pneumatic trains have been around since the 1870s.

    elon musk needs to stop going through old popular mechanics for ideas

    [Reply]

    Danny Reply:

    note that he put exactly $0.00 into his *last* cocktail-napkin idea: this story seems to be about his latest imaginary technology, to drill tunnels 50 times faster and 90% cheaper than anyone else ever proposed in all engineering history (i.e., piffle to keep his name in the news and appeal to the new administration since all his vaunted postcapitalist income is just government funding)

    he just wanted to rain on CAHSR’s parade–they did the same thing in the 90s when cities were considering rail (“don’t spend billions on something that automated cars will make outdated by the unimaginable faroff futuristic year of 2010!”) and all the PRT cultists came out in Minneapolis (Ken Avidor has a decade of rage on his blog, it’s beautiful)

    remember when that ridonkulous “straddling bus” appeared? all the comments were “we don’t need HSR!” “the experts saying it’s stupid means it’ll work out, just like Galileo and the Wright Brothers!”

    of course it was 1. tracked, 2. unworkable even in a simulation, 3. ripped up the road, 4. broke, and 5. was a scam

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    I like how the “cutting-edge technology” that Hyperloop was supposed to be devolved into simply using existing technology that has been bandied about for decades (and repeatedly dismissed because of its overall infeasibility).

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Yep. Just like electric cars and self-landing rocket boosters. The guy will never learn.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Ever heard of Swissmetro? Sounds a HELL of lot like exactly what Hyperloop has become.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand exactly what it is that Hyperloop has become.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    A maglev vactrain?

    [Reply]

    Danny Reply:

    like I said, he’s not putting money into much of what he’s flogging the most: that’s like pointing to the Moller SkyCar or Bus Rapid Transit

    and frankly Musk’s just direct-marketing upscale electric cars (a Leaf’s cheaper and better) and adding new welding techniques and updated electronics to some oversize Exocets; I’m not dishing on what he does make, but he’s just a Peter Thiel painted blue rather than red, making most of his money by perpetuating various myths about how science, engineering, and business work

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Myth #1: https://youtu.be/AllaFzIPaG4?t=1515

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score) https://www.wired.com/2017/01/inside-tunnel-elon-musk-already-digging-los-angeles/

    [Reply]

  13. Michael
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 10:24
    #13

    For your consideration.

    https://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com/

    [Reply]

  14. Reality Check
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 15:12
    #14

    MBTA commuter rail operator Keolis blames delays, cancellations on new locomotive defects
    We’ve got ourselves a bunch of lemons.

    The current problems are part of a pattern of troubled purchases by the MBTA. Before Keolis became the commuter rail provider in 2014, the MBTA purchased the locomotives for nearly $222 million from Idaho-based Motive Power Inc., which had partnered with General Electric to make the motors. The two companies had not worked together before, according to the MBTA’s chief operating officer Jeffrey Gonneville.

    As soon as the locomotives were delivered, they were sidelined for months because of faulty bearings. MBTA officials say the new locomotives are more reliable than the older ones in its fleet, but by February 2016, nearly every locomotive had been delayed because of mechanical failures, operator errors, or other issues.

    In addition, eight locomotives have experienced failures with turbochargers, which blow fresh air into the engines. The manufacturer has agreed to replace the part across the fleet. The manufacturer is already replacing four other pieces of equipment, including software for the General Electric engine and battery chargers.

    In 2016, the MBTA appeared to acknowledge the issues with the new locomotives when its board approved an additional $3.7 million for extra maintenance costs. That was part of a deal that gave $66 million more to the company over the life of the contract.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/New-Cars-in-BARTs-Fleet-of-Future-Found-to-be-Overweight-413771743.html

    New Cars in BART’s ‘Fleet of Future’ Found to be Overweight

    Cars in BART’S so-called “fleet of the future” are as much as a ton overweight, NBC Bay Area has learned, and the transit agency has hired outside engineers to inspect 30 key aerial structures to assure they can handle the load.

    The train cars are a half-ton to 1 ton heavier than specified under BART’s contract. As new cars approach BART’s design limit of 55 tons for trains fully loaded with passengers, there will be more strain on its aging infrastructure.

    All this left Bob Bea, a UC Berkeley engineering professor emeritus who studies how major structures fail, concerned about what was being done to account for the apparently at-risk structures.

    “So we’ve got a particularly challenging problem,” Bea said. “Running heavier trains is simply putting more demand on the system, which is not a good thing. That’s escalating the risk again.”

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    We’re talking about 8 or so large adult men. I don’t think that’s going to collapse bridges and brake axles.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    According to Oversier, specifications allow the cars to weigh 64,500 pounds empty and 100,000 pounds carrying a crush load of passengers. The cars meet the fully loaded threshold, he said, but are 1,000 to 1,500 pounds too heavy when empty.
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/BART-extension-to-San-Jose-on-track-but-new-cars-11047689.php

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The problem is clearly that the trains are too heavy when empty. We should be perfectly fine as long as BART only operate fully-loaded trains and cancel all off-peak service.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    MBTA should have embarked on electrification of their commuter lines years ago.

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    The Great Ol’ USA – Land of Supreme Incompetence. MBTA’s new locos a stunning example of how idiotically inept we’ve become as a nation.

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Not only have we become incompetent, we’re PROUD of it!

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Why else did Trump proclaim during his campaign how much he loves UNEDUCATED PEOPLE! Need I say more?

    [Reply]

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    I will conclude by saying that the MBTA surely didn’t necessarily DESERVE to get these lemon excuses for locomotives, but that’s what they got in exchange for their adhering to the “Buy America” requirement. In other words, “we’re screwed,” to put it most politely.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The MBTA was experiencing a high number of traction motor support bearing failures that was impacting their ability to meet locomotive daily availability requirements. LTK was brought in to determine the cause of the failure and assist in the development of new shop procedures relating to the installation of support bearing wicks and ongoing maintenance and inspection of traction motor combos.
    https://www.ltk.com/projectexperiencedetails.aspx?SPN=LOCOMOTIVES

    What could possibly go wrong?

    [Reply]

  15. les
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 18:13
    #15

    Who in the hell is Stagecoach Group.

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/operators-from-five-countries-interested-in-california-high-speed-rail-contract.html

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    ah, a british group to answer my own question.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I think – I’m not sure – Stagecoach is also behind Megabus (who by the way got burned in mainland Europe and sold their assets to Flixbus)

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    How about reading two posts below instead of posting useless crap?

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The information that Megabus utterly failed to compete on the German market is new information, whereas most of what you post is not.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Pot, meet kettle.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Dear kettle, would you like to elaborate?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Stagecoach own 49% of Virgin Trains: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagecoach_Group#Rail_Division

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    They also own Coach USA and Coach Canada. The two companies also operate MegaBus.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    They also run Virgin Azumas: https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/news/new-announcement/

    [Reply]

  16. joe
    Apr 6th, 2017 at 21:13
    #16

    Back to “joe” after eating a snicker’s bar.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    What’ next? A follow-up post on your subsequent bowel movements?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I posted and noticed it was under the id of the once prolific Synonymous.

    I then made the comment above as a reply to idnicate it was ‘joe’ and not Synonymous.

    Why no Synonymous comment above? It was under moderation and failed to post.

    hmmmm.

    [Reply]

  17. Wells
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 07:58
    #17

    I’ll just here leave you this time with a welcome mat out from the Pacific Northwest.
    We here, not just my own bias, need you rail guys. I’ll continue my efforts for trains that reign in Spain, (hey that rhymed), Talgo-type trainsets Amtrak Cascades. I’ve been on Acela and am convinced ride comfort is ‘much better’ on Talgo. Oh well… The CRC I-5 bridge is back on the table, nevermind fiasco or which agencies blew it last time (wsdot & both ports) AND mister trump’s oil pipelines and train hauling to new export facilities are on line. We need national attention on oil/gas/coal by rail, as if it should ever would form a permanent, if last, testament to human civilization. Resist bad design.
    The wealthy have getaway surviving townships sufficiently staffed.
    Stopped driving cars by more than half.
    Elon Musk may be saying ‘waste money’ on my big ideas.
    Hyperloop is an epitome of the absurd.
    Perhaps ‘smaller cabs’ for freight short distances?
    I Burned Elon Musk, I burned Elon Musk, nyaa nyaa (^:

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Here’s what I’m yacking about.

    http://www.sightline.org/2017/04/05/event-climate-impacts-of-fracked-gas/

    [Reply]

  18. les
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 09:11
    #18

    All sorts of good news today Morris:

    “California’s cap-and-trade program survives a legal battle in a win for Gov. Jerry Brown and environmentalists”

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-california-cap-trade-decision-20170406-story.html

    “ACE Train to Extend to Ceres, Merced Thanks to Deal Approving State Gas-Tax Increase”

    http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12323670/ace-train-to-extend-to-ceres-merced-thanks-to-deal-approving-state-gas-tax-increase

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Morris is out of town and I personally don’t see why he would have any problems with these exceedingly good bi-partisan news.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    More info on the gas tax increase:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1

    Assembly – PASS
    Senate – PASS

    Electrification funding is secured. Once Brown signs SB1 I’d expect some sort of announcement to be made.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Where’s the electrification funding in the bill? I’m not seeing the allocation.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    section 20-99312.3

    24-6201.8 (2)

    31-11053 (a)

    36-2030 (c)

    43 (b)

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Ah, so just part of more general “transit” mentions.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    43 (b) specifically mentions Caltrain,

    “Emerging solutions for the Route 101 and Caltrain corridor connecting Silicon Valley with San Francisco.”

    SMART, Surfliner, 91/Perris, and a “comprehensive 405 solution” are also mentioned.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The bill boosts funding for intercity rail and commuter rail by dedicating a new 0.5 percent diesel sales tax to this purpose. Similar to the TIRCP, projects would be selected by CalSTA. Of the approximately $37.5 million available each year, funds would be distributed as follows:

    • 50 percent to CalSTA for “state-supported intercity rail services.” Of that amount, at least 25 percent shall be allocated to each of the state’s three intercity rail corridors that provide regularly scheduled intercity rail service (the Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner routes).

    • 50 percent to CalSTA to be allocated to public agencies responsible for commuter rail service. For FY 2018-19 and FY 2019-20, each of the state’s five commuter rail agencies (including ACE, Caltrain and SMART) would receive 20 percent. Subsequent to that, CalSTA would allocate funds pursuant to guidelines to be adopted by July 1, 2019.

    • Funds may be spent for operations or capital.

    • Similar to the STA program, the actual amount of revenue each year will depend on diesel prices and sales.

    https://mtc.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=5100970&GUID=BB98D435-7759-46E2-8ED8-F3FCB61D1645
    Caltrain estimated net increase: $ 2,419,246 (Attachment B on page 16)

    [Reply]

    Woody Reply:

    Seems that any increase in the fuel taxes and registration fees will be good for intercity rail, commuter services, and urban transit. Costs are increased at rail’s chief competitors, vehicles and highways. Rail will gain some new passengers with this fuel cost increase.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    The CA 14 will hate this, as CA just thwarted them. I wonder will the DOT’s $647 Million disappear or be released?

    I’ve been watching SB-1 from 2017, it has no HSR funding in it, unlike the previous bill in 2016, which did, Republican Legislators must be smoking something, and they quote from the earlier bill, and insist HSR is in the current bill(I’ve read it, did searches, nothing), like the fact that they have no power, since they whine about the Voters making a Democratic Majority in the CA State Legislature…

    The GOP/Republican Party is the 3rd Wheel, they can vote however they see fit, I don’t care, as they are impotent at present, and steadily shrinking…

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    This is a much better route than fighting Trump, Perry and et al with emission standards. Gas tax incentivizes the purchase of electric cars and puts some much needed cash in the coffers.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    The ACE train extension is a BFD.
    This “perk” won a GOP vote.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Agree!

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Transformative!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Politically, a GOP member is trading a tax vote for rail expansion to the SV.

    What happens when the HSR CV segment is in place? I think the demand to connect HSR to Silicon Valley will be unstoppable. It’s like the Obama health care act everyone hated until now.
    Take Obama out of the equation and it’s very popular.

    HSR will be popular in CA with Obama gone and overburdened roadways.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Agree!
    (again)

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    I don’t think HSR is anything like the ACA. The Central Valley Republicans are still pretty much dead-set against HSR, which won’t change until their constituents see HSR as a real possibility (and maybe not even then).

    Obama isn’t tightly linked in people’s minds with HSR the way he was (for good reason) with the ACA. On the other hand, many conservative identifying voters don’t even realize that the thing they like (ACA) is the same as the thing they hate (“Obamacare”).

    Like most things, its easier to be against an abstraction than the reality. Once people actually see HSR, they’ll be clamoring for it.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    We are in pretty much agreement. As I wrote, once the CV segment is in place.

    “Until their constituents see HSR as a real possibility (and maybe not even then).”

    I think the GOP rep asking for ACE extensions to access SV indicates the likelihood of a conversion.
    That and the fact Obama isn’t around to make this a litmus test for congress. HSR is very much associated with Obama in congress where the project has the most ardent opposition.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Obamacare was Romneycare with a few tweaks. And was the greatest bestest thing until it was actually put in place. ……The Republican health care plan is “get better or die”.

    [Reply]

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Ah, I miss me some Alan Grayson… that dude was hilarious.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. This looks like SB1029 all over again when they used Prop1A bonds to buy the book-end votes. Quelle affaire!!!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    A-A-A-A-A-L-T-A-M-O-N-T!!!

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    ACE is a commuter system, therefore it creates more demand for commuting than it can handle. The Altamont corridor needs all-day service much more than Gilroy and Los Banos. There is more potential for transit oriented development via Altamont. Gated McMansion estates will sprout from the hillsides of Pacheco. The mostly rural roads leading to an HSR station will serve an exclusive clientele.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Final nail in the Chowchilla Wye coffin. Loving it :p :p :p

    [Reply]

  19. StevieB
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 14:25
    #19

    Appeals Court Rules That Cap-and-Trade Is Not a Tax

    . . . the purchase of allowances is a voluntary decision driven by business judgments as to whether it is more beneficial to the company to make the purchase than to reduce emissions. Reducing emissions reduces air pollution, and no entity has a vested right to pollute.

    In addition, said the court, the fact that the credits, once purchased, could be traded, bought, and sold among companies means that the cap-and-trade system involves both voluntary participation and the purchase of a commodity with value—neither of which are “the hallmarks of a tax.”

    The plaintiffs in the suit, the California Chamber of Commerce, could still appeal it to the State Supreme Court as a last desperate attempt to profit by polluting California.

    [Reply]

  20. Roland
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 17:58
    #20

    Salesforce Tower finally tops off (the view from Caltrain as it approaches 4th & King is equally stunning).
    http://sf.curbed.com/2017/4/7/15220566/salesforce-tower-top-sf-beam-tallest

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Going up next: Oceanwide Center at 50 First St. While not quite as tall as the Salesforce Tower, it will be 2nd tallest in SF, topping the Transamerica Pyramid. Foundation is underway.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    This old news.

    [Reply]

  21. joe
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 19:41
    #21

    Pennisula NIMBY’s happy Trump cut Caltrain grant and espouse the joys of clean diesel .

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/06/opinion-caltrain-dodged-a-bullet-with-electrification-grant-denial/

    Opinion: Caltrain dodged a bullet with electrification grant denial
    ….
    Given that High-Speed Rail would have stolen away most of the anticipated benefits for local commuters, the FTA’s action in withholding the grant is a blessing in disguise. There are less expensive electrification options, not requiring overhead catenaries, and there are lighter, lower-cost modern diesel alternatives, too (so-called Tier 4 trains, just approved for commuter service). These alternatives can do what everyone on the Peninsula wants for Caltrain, at a much lower cost.

    Gary A. Patton grew up in Palo Alto, was a Santa Cruz County Supervisor for 20 years and is an environmental attorney representing the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail based on the Peninsula. He wrote this for The Mercury News.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    The less expensive electrification options can only mean BART. How this is possible requires an explanation but if someone writes it in a new site many people will believe it. Many people equate all information sources equally. This is how President The Donald has come under criticism for many of his tweets.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Patton, from what I can tell, is a mis-informer and unreliable source of information. He may be referring to anything or nothing. His job is to represent his clients who hate HSR.

    Santa Cruz Co. has no rail and I think he’s the guy who helped assure the county would develop under the yoke of the automobile. That was the anti-growth strategy which, IMHO, failed.

    1991
    “A mass transit system like BART, a high speed bullet train or even a light rail … Supervisor Gary Patton is even opposed to studying the idea further”

    https://books.google.com/books?id=EEQZxq29MzUC&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=Gary+A.+Patton+rail&source=bl&ots=APFNzhtVDr&sig=GQyVVQ3T4WYtejBkywpfgIo02UA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWou6w-ZPTAhWI7YMKHQUlB_oQ6AEIPzAF#v=onepage&q=Gary%20A.%20Patton%20rail&f=false

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Joe, from what I can tell, is a mis-informer and unreliable source of information. He may be referring to anything or nothing, including snicker’s bars, breast implants or bowel movements.

    [Reply]

    StevieB Reply:

    Ad Hominem attacks are a sign of desperation

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    What happened to Synonymous?

    I posted and, without my noticing, the site filled in synonymouse credentials. The “Synonymouse” post immediately went into moderation.

    What does this tell us?

    [Reply]

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Great example for spreading FUD and bullshitting…

    But it is marked as “opinion”, and that’s what it is. An opinion.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Based on actual facts: https://youtu.be/w9w9amWKhV4?t=56

    [Reply]

  22. Roland
    Apr 7th, 2017 at 20:38
    #22
  23. les
    Apr 8th, 2017 at 13:20
    #23

    So much for private enterprise being the ticket for HSR in the good ole us of a.

    “Five bills looking to constrain the Houston-to-Dallas high-speed train’s impact on taxpayers and landowners — and potentially kill the venture — flew Wednesday through the Senate Transportation Committee on a series of 7-0 and 6-1 votes.”

    http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/bills-stalling-stopping-bullet-train-pass-texas-senate-committee/vHlsiEkVIA6WtHZ3nQOpLL/

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    At least somebody has got it figured out.

    “A project of this magnitude and regional significance likely cannot succeed without the assistance and
    support of the federal government.”

    http://www.xpresswest.com/pdf/20170331155434188.pdf

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Even a privately funded project gets the same treatment as CA.
    Same arguments and characters like the anti-rail Reason Foundation.

    Texas high speed rail would be a colossal waste of taxpayer money

    Baruch Feigenbaum of The Reason Foundation completed one but Texas Central wasn’t happy with it. and Feigenbaum personally.

    Texas Central immediately attacked Feigenbaum’s data as phony, taking issue over how he derived at his ridership numbers. But the biggest problem with Texas Central was it wanted to use alternative facts not based in reality.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/at-the-capitol/2017/04/05/state-pushes-forward-bills-to-slow-down-high-speed-rail-projects/

    Here are the bills the hearing focused on:

    Senate Bill 975 by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury: This bill provides a framework of security requirements to be followed during the construction period of a high-speed rail line. It specifically deals with requirements for passengers entering, exiting and passing through on the train during the operation of the rail system.

    Senate Bill 977 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown: This bill prohibits the legislature from appropriating new funds or allowing state agencies to use existing funds to pay for private high-speed rail in Texas. It also prohibits state agencies from accepting or using state funding for related costs. The only exceptions included in the bill are made for federally required environmental duties.

    Senate Bill 979 by Sen. Schwertner: This bill specifies that private entities do not have the power of eminent domain for the purpose of developing a high-speed rail project. The bill also prohibits entities acquiring private property under the threat of eminent domain from later using that property for high-speed rail projects.

    Senate Bill 980 by Sen. Schwertner: This bill prohibits state funds, credits or guarantees from being used for any purpose related to a privately owned high-speed rail unless the state first obtains and maintains a security instrument to secure the repayment of those state funds.

    Senate Bill 981 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham: This bill allows a modern passenger rail network to offer single-seat service between Texas city-centers only if components of the network are compatible so more than one high-speed source can use the infrastructure.

    These five bills are just a selection of the many that have been filed to impose regulations on high-speed rail projects. Many of those bills were filed by rural lawmakers.

    Trains must be compatible with non-texas central infrastructure thus negating the useof Japanese trains.

    TSA like security.

    Removing eminent domain.

    Prohibit state orgs from working or accepting any funds to work on HSR.

    and etc.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why do Republicans hate railroads?

    Even private for profit railroads…

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    HSR uses Electricity, not Oil, the KOCH Brothers(David and Crane KOCH) are known as Big Oil in the US, David ran on the Libertarian ticket as VP(Vice President) in 1980, they don’t like anything that threatens their Oily Money, or even like the US government for that matter.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    And the KOCH’s back Republicans with campaign donations, in exchange for being against HSR, among other things. Or threaten to primary them, if they don’t follow orders.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What happens if and when the oil runs out?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Every Kraut will die.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Use electricity instead.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Darn!

    [Reply]

  24. car(e)-free LA
    Apr 8th, 2017 at 15:42
    #24

    VTA has now released its final Next Network plan! It has some big changes.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Not all that much, but they’re keeping more south and west valley service, reconfiguring LRT service (though I think they should run Almaden trains to Old Ironsides, running local the whole way, run Santa THeresa trains to Alum Rock, express from Ohone/Chynoweth-Tamien, and terminate Winchester trains downtown with the goal of converting Alum Rock BRT to LRT for them some day.)

    You can look at it yourself, seeing as it is more relevant to your life than mine anyway.

    [Reply]

  25. William
    Apr 8th, 2017 at 16:15
    #25

    OT: Capitol Corridor published an update to its Vision Plan: http://www.capitolcorridor.org/vision-plan
    It is basically to establish a passenger-only line between San Jose and Sacramento. I wonder how much of it will become reality.

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Published Nov. 2016

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Additional CC plans to add two commuter hour trains each way extending from San Jose to Gilroy – Salinas with work now underway in Salinas. Plans to add track at Gilroy station with VTA funds.

    http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/opinion/2017/02/02/new-passenger-train-lines-still-planned-salinas/97417496/

    Initially Monterey Co wanted Caltrain but the service was not responsive to requests.

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Is Monterey-Salinas light rail still happening?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Caltrain” and “Service south of San Jose” is an oxymoron.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoron

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It doesn’t make sense for reasons of land use and operational simplicity.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Would you care to elaborate?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Caltrain is an urban metro style service that lends itself to frequent, all day, electrified, service between close together, walkable stops with strong ridership generators. There is nothing like that south of San Jose. And you know that, Roland.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Like Blossom Hill and Capitol, right?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Blossom Hill and Capitol are in San Jose, not South of San Jose.

    Roland Reply:

    “Caltrain” and “Service” in south San Jose is an oxymoron.

    joe Reply:

    Then this is an oxymoron: Roland, a Blossom Hill resident, attends and speaks at Caltrain Board meetings.

    Caltrain service to south county should be restored back to four trains each way and expanded with two additional trains for six total.

    Ideally Capitol Corridor’s service, 2 commuter trains, will complement Caltrain service and allow for transfers at Diridon.

    Blossom Hill should get better bus service to Diridon. I suggest adding VTA 568 Express which would make limited stops along the 68 bus route from Gilroy to Diridon with stops at Caltrain/San Martin, Morgan Hill, Blossom Hill, Capitol, (skip Tamien) and Diridon.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly point me to demographics corroborating 350K residents with an average household income in excess of 100K within 5 miles of La Capitale du Garlique.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Joe
    Alternatively, Blossom hill to San Francisco could have Caltrain service every 15 minutes, and six Capitol Corridors could run to Gilroy, with 2 or 3 continuing on to Salinas.

    Danny Reply:

    @car(e)-free Alternatively doesn’t exist and no plans or money.

    No plans to electrify to Blossom Hill – sad but that’s the reality with Caltrain.

    I’m hoping for express VTA bus service on an existing line, something very possible without spending hundreds of millions. This will improve today’s commuter experience for Blossom Hill while also building demand for Caltrain.

    Blossom Hill is a 23 minute Caltrain trip (only three trains) or a 42 minute local bus ride to Diridon. Express bus should make it more competitive.

    Caltrain 2016 survey shows 127 weekday passenger boardings at blossom hill.

    Danny Reply:

    Kindly point me to demographics corroborating 350K residents with an average household income in excess of 100K

    127 boardings at Blossom Hill. The best and finest people ever to walk the earth I’m sure but only 127.

    More Gilroy gang bangers board at downtown and then there is the second Gilroy stop at San Martin for those living in the hills NW of the city.

    joe Reply:

    Just ate a snickers bar and now I’m no longer Danny. Actually, that wasn’t a bad experience at all.

    Roland Reply:

    Any report on the BMs?

    Roland Reply:

    “Mr. Lebrun expressed support of enhanced Caltrain service in the City of San Jose and South County. He also expressed support of use of urbanized area formula funds to support Caltrain service improvements in Santa Clara County.”
    http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/tac_041217_packet.pdf

    joe Reply:

    Mr. Lebrun speaks so often, on so many varied topics that the Caltrain Board doesn’t listen any more.

    Caltrain has a legal obligation to collect and distribute meeting minutes and allow public comment.

    Roland Reply:

    Does the Clairon du Garlique understand that the VTA is responsible for rail service south of Tamien?

    Roland Reply:

    Really, really sorry to disappoint you but TASI just checked tickets and passes on NB319 for the first time in the last 3 years….

    Joe Reply:

    Roland doesn’t admit he’s not taken seriously by public agencies which are forced by law to hear him and acknowledge correspondence.

    Nor does he understand VTA funnels his Blossom Hill seat onto underutilized light rail and bus service rather than extend Caltrain two stops.

    Sad.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There is no good reason why an S-Bahn cannot serve more outlying areas. Most German S-Bahns do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Most of them, their outlying areas would …. be in Queens…

    Clem Reply:

    Cost is $0 with Altamont HSR. How’s that for a vision?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you think going on a 50 mile detour for a 90 mile trip and ignoring all the people along the way is a good idea.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    There’s more people along the Altamont route than along Pacheco.
    The proposed route includes a Sacramento spur; why not build that spur in the first phase?
    I’d say build HSR to Merced instead of extending ACE to Madera.

    [Reply]

    Reedman Reply:

    A reminder that one of the perceived benefits of the Pacheco route is that it has fewer people along it. In order to get support from the Sierra Club for Prop1A, the Dems were required to add the Prop1A provision that building a stop in Los Banos is specifically prohibited (in order to prevent the use of HSR as a commuter rail line that would encourage suburban sprawl by allowing workers in Silicon Valley to have homes in the Central Valley).

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2008/09/prop-1a-and-hsrs-role-in-fighting-sprawl/

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That doesn’t stop someone else from building a station… anywhere they want to…..

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Acccess to Monterey Co. is another advantage for Pacheco.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I know. That’s the one thing that keeps me from supporting Altamont 100%. It’s very frustrating that, with Altamont, there is no rail connection from the coast to the interior of the state anywhere between Burbank Airport and Fremont/Union City. Perhaps with a SR 152 upgrade, 125 MPH rail could be built from Santa Cruz to Gilroy to Merced (to Yosemite, my fantasy).

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Well a bus ride or rental car would work too.
    The UP tracks turn to the coast and back out but HW 101 cuts across and is more direct.

    Monterey Salinas Transit, MST, runs an Amtrak bus, MST 55, from Monterey to San Jose with a stop at Gilroy.

    Also San Benito Co runs a daily bus connecting to the three Caltrain commuters.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Miles don’t matter. Minutes do.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And going an average speed of 90 for 90 miles takes an hour. Going an average speed of 140 for 140 takes an hour.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Exactly! You’ve made my point for me: upgrading the Cap Cor to 90 mph average speed is a 5 to 10 billion investment that provides zero travel time benefit over Altamont HSR. Altamont HSR provides equally quick Bay Area – Sacramento service at zero marginal cost, provided that Bay Area – LA and Sacramento – LA are built. The small burgs along the existing Cap Cor can retain DMU service at a level of investment more commensurate with their ridership potential.

    Too bad California rail planning is owned by legions of scope maximizing, write-your-own-paycheck consultants. Hitting two birds with one stone also hits their paycheck!

    [Reply]

    Neil Shea Reply:

    And what’s the opportunity cost and inflation while waiting 30 years to get consensus and approvals to cut a new route across the Bay at a wildlife reserve and through upscale car suburbs including Pleasanton, Livermore & Fremont, and then to reactivate an unused line through Menlo Park & Redwood City? Hell hath no fury like suburbanites fighting a new rail corridor through their towns.

    The route follows an active (Caltrain) rail corridor for a reason – so it can be used within our lifetimes.

    Of course the economic impact of Santa Clara / SV to the state has been much discussed (along with Monterey/Central Coast). Tech is the state’s largest industry. Which influential Eastbay group or pol has *asked* for such a line to even be studied? Compared with Santa Clara county which will expedite permits.

    I’m not in favor of a long delay to the project to take the South Bay off the mainline. Later, absolutely overlay Altamont as the maps show.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Dumbarton Rail is a new route???

    [Reply]

    Ben in SF Reply:

    Essentially… counted in decades. Or maybe you’d like to take a long walk off a short pier…

    joe Reply:

    Politics and engineering have to co-exist — Pacheco with SJ and SF on the same line.

    Texas HSR is going to fail due to politics. The system isn’t committed to connecting city cores, too expensive, and has rural opposition with no enticing stops along the way.

    It is private $$ and makes ridership and engineering sense but fails to meet political needs. texas is going to kill it with regulations.

    IMHO the combination of Peninsula &, East Bay NIMBYs and faux environmentalists over a bay crossing AND BART trying to halt competition and muscle in and forcea joint crossing up north with HSR …. all of this political mess would have destroyed HSR had they chosen the Altamont alignment.

    My crappy town every loves to hate supports HSR as does SJ and Santa Clara Co. BART gets pulled to San Jose HSR for transers – BART is happy. We can politically justify electrified Caltrain with Prop1a and cofunding.

    This isn’t rail planners driving the decision. It’s political and shows SJ has political clout to affect Bay Area transit.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I wonder if politics will favor Altamont, and by politics, I mean a Newsom governorship. He could say he is cutting costs and making the project more efficient, claim to have saved it, and then sell it as the greatest project ever known.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes eventually. No I don’t see how Newsom can move the HSR alignment unless it comes with billions in new funds from some non state source.

    CA will now extend ACE into the CV and some politicans want to improve the ACE ROW with double track and faster speed.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Silly silly people wanting to get railroad service instead of drawing “better” lines on a map.
    Very Silly…

    Roland Reply:

    SJ and SF are already connected and Altamont can connect to one or the other or both as well as Sacramento. What is there not to like about this win-win-win proposal?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    San Jose didn’t want to be a long train ride away from a station.

    Roland Reply:

    San Jose is building a real 400-meter (not 800-foot) HSR station.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    One interesting possibility of Altamont HSR is a rerouted Capitol Corridor using blended Union City-Pleasanton tunnels, then heading up to Sacramento via Walnut Creek. A map can be seen here:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1UzsfIrBcmJZtWZgv-d4Yj_YzdmA&usp=sharing

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    The problem with this logic is that Sacramento – LA HSR is far from a done deal. I strongly suspect it will get dropped in favor of an upgraded San Joaquin line with a transfer to HSR at Merced or Madera.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or even at Fresno, if they go with Pacheco, no wye, and no Madera station.

    [Reply]

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    *cringe*

    Roland Reply:

    Ah, the sweet smell of an Amtrak bus. YES!!!

    [Reply]

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    In all fairness, reallocating all existing (and planned) San Joaquin trains to Fresno-Sacramento service could probably result in 12-ish trains in each direction per day.

    Roland Reply:

    That’s the same frequency as London to Brussels (5 less than London to Paris): http://www.eurostar.com/sites/default/files/pdf/timetable/UK_timetable.pdf
    Are you sure there is sufficient ridership to support this?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Like the smaller burgs along Altamont?

    [Reply]

    wdobner Reply:

    Those burgs may be smaller, but they’re along a route which connects SF, LA, San Jose, and Sacramento without any additional infrastructure. Why not build one mountain crossing to serve all four endpoints, especially if it provides a faster SF-Sacramento trip?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if BART to San Francisco is good enough for Oakland why isn’t BART to Fremont good enough for San Jose? Or Caltrain to Redwood City?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Agreed, though I favor Union City over Fremont.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The east-west ROW doesn’t go through Union City. They’d have to build an interchange station in the middle of suburbia but what’s a little inconvenience when it would get Altamont

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It isn’t that difficult. This is your ROW: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1o7o_j6Rk-IbotNHDYNF9GAjXz7g&usp=sharing

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People get really upset when you propose tearing down their condos. Or shopping centers.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Torn down:
    One redevelopable strip mall
    One small apartment building that is part of a much larger complex
    Three small apartment buildings that are part of a much larger complex
    One taco bell
    Four single family homes.

    Not a big deal and I don’t care. The redevelopment opportunities around the stations are massive anyways, so it isn’t a loss.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they still get upset even though you tell them not to.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes they do but a strip mall, parts of two apartment complexes, a taco bell, and four single family homes don’t have all that much political clout, particularly against the instant PAMPA worship this scheme would create.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And if it makes you feel any better, I just slightly modified the alignment to preserve one of the houses.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    When they are thinking about doing it in 50 years be sure to suggest it to them.

    Roland Reply:

    Ever heard of Shinn?

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. Goes who is next in line now that we have saved all that money on the Pacheco boondoggle: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/04/10/plans-emerge-for-train-service-between-central-valley-and-bay-area/

    Are we having fun yet?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    A basic position I take when picturing the future is one where driving and flying is reduced by half, much of that half replaced with mass transit. IOW, we should accept the inevitability of transit and not accept HSR systems that exclusively serve the wealthy and neglect the needs of most motorists, including Silicon Valley simbots.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    How many HSR systems benefit just the wealthy? I get that the poorest 20% aren’t going to use HSR all that much, but it isn’t exactly an elite product.

    [Reply]

    Danny Reply:

    heck, it’ll benefit the urban poor by sparking a wave of local rail: not all rail is equal, of course, but Californians will get used to riding steel-on-steel and understand that it’s part of one large distributary system, with buses and cars as the capillaries but integrated by various types of rail

    and of course that means a political constituency–people were asking about the Expo Line and Purple Extension “why didn’t we have this decades ago,” and people are now around to tell them the long sad story of LA NIMBYism

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The French TGV was designed as a “train for everybody” from the get-go and if you look up prices at bahn.de or voyages.sncf.com you’ll certainly draw the conclusion that people who can afford a car can afford the occasional HSR trip.

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Similar long range plan for ACE is AceForward: https://www.acerail.com/about/public-projects/aceforward albeit not as long range or as ambitious as Capitol Corridor Vision plan

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    I am all for improvements to ACE, such as dedicate passenger corridor and more frequency, and the next step for both Capitol Corridor and ACE is to garner political support and sell their plans to the legislature and/or Caltrans.

    As with the Altamont HSR, there is currently no unify political support for drastic ACE improvements, unlike the more enthusiastic supports cities along the Capitol Corridor current give, as is with the Pacheco HSR. This might change as ACE add frequencies and gets better, but not anytime soon.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The “next step” for ACE was taken two years ago (to the day): http://www.recordnet.com/article/20150306/NEWS/150309802

    [Reply]

    RobBob Reply:

    Part of the transportation budget deal in Sacramento just allocated $400m for the ACE extension from Ceres to Merced.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Of course it’ll happen, the question is if we’ll be alive to see it. 40 years from now is 2057. But, there’s a good chance things will speed up after SF-LA HSR is operative. East Bay residents want an alternative to BART, San Jose wants better access to cheap housing in Fairfield and Sacramento, and the freights would be happy to kick passenger service off their tracks. Otherwise this is a decision for 2025.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    and the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 promised that the next generation of trains would be able to go 160. The Second Avenue subway was definitely absolutely be completed by 1980 and running the Long Island Railroad to the general vicinity of Grand Central Station around the same time. The tunnel under the East River was finished in 1972!

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well Berlin’s new airport was supposed to open half a decade ago, yet here we are.

    By the way, the Libertarian splinter faction of no political relevance called FDP managed to get a ballot measure on the ballot for Tegel Airport to stay open…

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    SP built the 20 mile Alameda Corridor in under a decade, through urban Los Angeles. Rehabilitating the SN tracks (as they still exist, even if in a decrepit state) will be far easier as it goes through farmland and the delta slough. Four miles of Oakland subway is difficult, but possible (see the Central Subway over in SF).

    [Reply]

  26. Roland
    Apr 8th, 2017 at 18:13
    #26

    Breaking News: BART crane barge sinks above non-leaking Transbay tunnel.
    https://www.workboat.com/news/coastal-inland-waterways/bart-barge-bottoms-in-san-francisco/

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh how I didn’t miss the excessive use of “breaking” for news…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Did you just emit a “breaking” sound?

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You just might…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: http://www.sfexaminer.com/close-eye-kept-sunken-barge-atop-barts-transbay-tube/

    [Reply]

  27. Roland
    Apr 9th, 2017 at 12:31
    #27

    Caltrain Board meeting video: https://youtu.be/ljXUu_cOUGA?list=PLT3WgisWww_9_vLeVrg145ppauOCFtwet

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    SamTrans response to last week’s fracas: delete the page showing the current fleet’s seating capacity: https://www.google.com/search?q=caltrain+commute+fleets&oq=caltrain+commute+fleets

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Yikes, they must be getting paranoid of the seat count police!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/K8E_zMLCRNg

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Speaking of “counting seats,” the standard bus has 40, but their chassis are rigged for 60
    with 15+ ‘standees,’ achieving 4 mpg to transport many fewer people most of the time.
    IOW, the standard 40′ bus chassis is crap technology failing to serve the public need.
    Here’s another thing: Paratransit vans should be “Low-Floor” and Low-emission.
    Why buy new GM/FORD 1970’s chassis/drivetrain technology junk vans for seniors?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20161231031419/http://www.caltrain.com/about/statsandreports/commutefleets.html duly retrieved from Internet Archives.

    Feds have been informed. Expect CEMOF raid anytime now.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoliation_of_evidence

    [Reply]

  28. car(e)-free LA
    Apr 9th, 2017 at 13:19
    #28

    For those who don’t yet know, the San Joaquin is planning on adding an 8th train, from Fresno to Sacramento, by the end of the year.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Just sayin, how do you think ACE rail could/should be improved?
    Are the ‘envisioned’ Capitol Corridor upgrades a decent fit for HSR and ACE?
    I believe Gilroy could best utilize the less service of diesel/electric locomotives.
    Basicly, I’m for HSR Altamont on the basis of open discussion.
    I’m glad LA’s “Aqua” line was finished; now need to pay a visit.
    Possibly do Seattle in late May to ride latest streetcar and LRT.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    1.

    2. I don’t think Capitol Corridor will/should have HSR or ACE (though perhaps it and ACE should become the same system.) That said, it should definitely have grade separations, speed increases, and more trains. I also think it should be rerouted along the 680 corridor, with transfers for SF and the Eastbay available at Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, West Dublin/Pleasanton, and Union City

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    1. was meant to say I think ACE should operate with Altamont HSR in a Caltrain-esque blended corridor system, with trains going from Stockton and/or Modesto/Merced to RWC, and perhaps express to SF TBT.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Hey, we’re on the same page! Your assessment is close to my own, I’d call it a bigger-picture viewpoint. Speed is not atop my list of priorities. Blended operation on the entire bay area makes the most sense, therefore Altamont HSR serves the most needs, corrects more dysfunctional sprawl/car-dependent development. I’m sick/n/tired of hearing about 200+mph systems not being the most expensive ticket to ride. Acela is a premium ticket ride. And having been on Acela, I prefer Talgo as more comfortable. Good luck with any ahead-of-schedule LRT in la la land. Been on Portland’s Orange line yet?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yes actually. I went from Hollywood to Sellwood once, red to orange. It was brutal.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    The Springwater Corridor is a pleasure all year now new westside pathways.
    Sellwood will be on Bike the Bridges route in August. How was it brutal? It’s simple.
    It’s scenic, especially for regular riders. I say it needs a 1/4 mile extension to Oak Grove.
    The new terminus is a commercial center. It’s a relatively simple stoplight intersection ‘angled’ entry to a median and major crosswalk work at historic ROW. luck on that one.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I’m talking about the slow pace of MAX from Hollywood to Pioneer Square to Sellwood being brutal, not the Springwater Corridor.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Again, you’re putting too much emphasis on speed.
    There’s a fine line between fast enough and too slow.
    You could’ve taken the #70 bus at Lloyd Center to Sellwood.
    I’m working on a Subway MAX proposal route along the waterfront.
    Your trip to Sellwood would have only 2 stops downtown.
    That trip now is 10 stops. I route the Green Line in this subway,
    then extend the Clackamas Town Ctr terminus to Milwaukie, a Green Line Loop.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Nice. My comment was more a long anecdote in response to your inquiry about me riding the orange line, not a call to action, though I certainly support a subway (I think a blue-red subway is more important, though.)

    Wells Reply:

    The Blue Line enters same tunnel, travels further south
    then turns west to Goose Hollow after 1 PSU stop.
    The Red Line likewise enters tunnel but spurs at the ‘Low spot’ portal
    and runs through town on historic Morrison/Yamhill couplet.
    Red Line stops downtown reduced from 10 to 6, saving 5 mins.
    Waterfront stops @ Saturday Mkt and Salmon Springs Fountain.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    If you’re building a tunnel, just tear out the Morrison/Yamhill tracks, and turn them into protected bike lanes or something. Include stops at Goose Hollow, PSU North (6th/Columbia), Morrison Bridge, and the Lloyd District/Convention Center.

  29. Roland
    Apr 9th, 2017 at 20:49
    #29

    Leo Express update: http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/europe/hot-rail-topics-under-discussion-in-paris.html

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    AAF gets an honorable mention as “first in the US for a long time”: http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/blogs/david-briginshaw/the-stage-is-set-for-rail-to-deliver.html

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “The challenge is getting politicians to rethink their transport policies. We have already seen evidence of this, as the steady increase in rail investment around the world demonstrates. The danger is that the current move to the right in North America and Europe could make this a lot harder, so it is up to the rail sector to maintain the pressure on politicians.”

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well at least in Europe the democratic right has not historically hated rail…

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Cronysm and corporate welfare at there finest.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly elaborate on this profound statement.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    there is an old post on this site that has all the links. my search couldn’t find it.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    http://www.wikihow.com/Use-There,-Their-and-They're

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    thanx four the tip, good to know you’re good for something.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    there is an old post on this site that has all the links. my search couldn’t find it.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    repeat after me.

    it should give you something to do; posting lame youtube videos is getting old.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The American Association of Ambulatory Impaired People does not want you to use the term “lame” to refer to those youtube videos…

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    https://youtu.be/0kqyev46qyI?t=1

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “Regiojet and Leo Express in the Czech Republic, Westbahn in Austria, and NTV in Italy are good examples of private companies willing to risk all in the passenger rail market. Locomore, the world’s first crowdfunded train operator, is Europe’s newest entrant as it has just started its first long-distance service in the challenging German market. Later this year, All Aboard Florida will launch the first private inter-city service in the United States for several decades. If it is successful, it could transform attitudes to passenger rail not only in the United States but elsewhere.”

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I have ridden Locomore about a month ago.

    They are seriously putting “first class” on cloth seats and second class on leather seats. Do not ask me why…

    [Reply]

  30. Bahnfreund
    Apr 10th, 2017 at 18:16
    #30

    Of course the Trumpistas would fall for snakeoil like the Hyped Loop. After all, Trump started out as a snakeoil salesman. No wait, that’s what he ended up as…

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Snake oil salesman. Went right to war.
    Used a least medically ambulatory plan.
    I figure it a action ‘a shot across the bow’, nothing more.
    There’s talk of a ‘continuing’ Syrian civil war strategy.
    Tides are turning toward environment issues.
    Oh sure, just close down the EPA, why not, whatever,
    it’ll be great, the greatest. yaaaaaaAaaa

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is it true that Trump asked Syria’s principal ally (Russia) for permission before the bombing?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Our Generals fore-warned Russian forces, yes.
    It was the proverbial ‘shot across the bow’.
    Some aircraft were hit. The airfields immediately repaved.
    Fatalities probably low; give some credit there, coulda been worse.

    [Reply]

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well it was clearly 99% PR stunt and only 1% military operation.

    Interesting times…

    [Reply]

  31. Jerry
    Apr 10th, 2017 at 20:41
    #31

    Another benefit from using a train is not only roomier seating, but if overbooked you don’t get pulled off kicking and screaming as you do on United Airlines:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/business/united-flight-passenger-dragged.html?_r=0
    Interesting videos to say the least.

    [Reply]

    Danny Reply:

    part of the resistance to HSR is “people will like it when they get it, so they’d get mad at us for having blocked it, so we’ll keep blocking it”

    there’s an airline lobby but no rail lobby

    [Reply]

  32. Domayv
    Apr 10th, 2017 at 21:47
    #32
  33. Wells
    Apr 11th, 2017 at 11:50
    #33

    No no, this is a HyperLoop discussion,
    nevermind being idiotic nonsense,
    worse than self-driving autonomous empty car
    zipping around for someone who won’t be to blame,
    when accidents Robocars do cause, afterall, etc.
    Yea XpressWest.
    I’m still plugging away up north on WES-to-MAX rail corridor.
    AORTA is fully with me on this one.
    Its potential is ‘superlative’ rail corridor
    with MAX alongside, almost minimal impact.
    Not a bad rebuild. Milwaukie MAX views are tremendous/same potential there.
    Good luck guys. Impeachment by 2018 if not sooner. (emphasis on SOONER)
    /^;

    [Reply]

    Edward Reply:

    Be careful what you wish for. Who does impeachment (and conviction) give you as president?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    Should the list of mister Trump’s ‘harm-caused’ reach impeachable in total,
    the colossal embarrassment would sufficiently hinder the Pense administration.
    So the White House crowd are considering Hyperloop seriously-seriously?

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    WES-MAX-Downtown seems awfully circuitous. Why not focus on Tigard TC-South Waterfront-Downtown MAX instead?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    SW Barbur Blvd to Tigard, the slightly shorter route, is a tree-lined, scenic bus route that would be ravaged to install MAX, which won’t serve Pill Hill nor the Community College, plus really too little development potential to justify very high cost and impact. The WES corridor is a quick ride Tigard to Beaverton then only 2 stops before Goose Hollow and downtown. In principle, this slightly longer route converting WES to MAX spurs an incredible amount of development and ridership. What line are you working on most in LA? I’ve got other theories about how the bus system needs important upgrades, new models; sort of like planning buses as if they were streetcar lines; mostly ends up high-demand short lines with LRT connections. I’ve given the moniker -LOTi- Loop Oriented Transit Intermodal.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yeah. I’ve been on that bus. It’s overcrowded. In LA, I’m most concerned with the Crenshaw Line Northern Extension, but Pasadena-NoHo, Westwood-LAX, and Santa Monica-LAX also concern me.

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    I’ve been on the #70 plenty of times, never over-crowded, but should operate at more frequent intervals. The #70 is a north/south route that crosses many east/west bus routes which should make the transfer more convenient. Living in Portland, I can picture the entire transit system mature. Not so with LA, being much larger metropolitan area. I compare MAX to BART system with this theory: Even though BART runs 10-car trains at rush hour, it runs 4-car trains 1/4 full at other hours. Guiding regional mixed-use development should reduce cross-country travel enough to reduce demand at rush hours. BART could operate 4-car trainsets around the clock, not overcrowded during rush hours, not underutilized at other hours. Can you see why Altamont fits into that narrative?

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    not overcrowded at rush hours, not underutilized at all other hours…
    In theory, BART 10-car platforms are overbuilt. Rebuilding develops transit-oriented.
    I’d sure like to get Clem’s word on this, my main objective here,
    TODs growing better via Altamont, Gilroy left unbastardized, ifUgetmydrift.
    The Trump can’t be for RAIL if he’s thinking Hyperloop nonsense.
    It’s time Elon Musk kept a few of his ramblings to himself.
    Dandy battery maker to specify investment in, but Tesla ‘S’ is an energy drag.
    and Hyperloop is sheer nonsense.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I was referring to #12

    [Reply]

    Wells Reply:

    The #12 is Barbur Blvd through forested hillside.
    Portland’s Metro is proposing LRT for the corridor,
    nevermind the bus route is one of the best.
    I’m opposed to this bad MAX expansion.
    I’ve helped build other MAX lines and propose other better extensions.
    plus my premier design “Subway MAX x3”
    Waterfront route with 2 stops, Saturday Mkt and Salmon Springs Fountain.
    Then spur onto the Orange Line. The Barbur Blvd LRT is a bad one.

    [Reply]

  34. Roland
    Apr 11th, 2017 at 14:42
    #34

    Just discovered that King’s Tulare is even more fucked up than Fresno: https://youtu.be/-QwUjOMd4sg?t=174

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Quality testing. Randomly select a post and view a video link.

    CHSRA “March 2017 Construction Update”
    And…..absolutely nothing in this video clip is controversial or “fucked up”.

    Conclusion, continue to avoid these youtube links.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops. My bad. Forgot that some folks can’t handle more than one frame every 5 minutes:
    http://www.lisea.fr/lisea-en-bref-organisation-missions-engagements/

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Most of us recognize your links as denial of service attack.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Please do not click on this link: https://youtu.be/-QwUjOMd4sg?t=174 (30 fps is guaranteed to scramble whatever it is you have between your ears).

    [Reply]

  35. joe
    Apr 11th, 2017 at 15:53
    #35

    DuncanBlack
    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/04/maybe-just-alarmism.html

    I was a bit annoyed by transit nerds who gave 2 cheers when Christie killed the tunnel. Their criticisms of the project were correct, but like most things transit it isn’t “this or my preferred project” it’s “this or nothing.” We might find out the consequences of “nothing.”

    The current tunnels under the Hudson River were built in 1908 and are rapidly deteriorating. This problem was exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy, which filled the tunnels with corrosive salt water, and engineers now estimate that without major overhauls the tunnels are likely to fail within the next 10 years. The closing of either tunnel would be devastating because it would essentially shut down the Northeast Corridor, the transit route from Boston to Washington that produces over $3 trillion in economic output — a full 20 percent of the national gross domestic product.

    [Reply]

  36. Roland
    Apr 12th, 2017 at 04:20
    #36
  37. Roland
    Apr 12th, 2017 at 07:26
    #37

    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/opinions/2017-04-12/op-ed-barts-missing-link/1776425178655.html

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting column by Tom Huening regarding BART’s missing link.
    And interesting statistics.
    Each day in San Mateo County:
    19,000 people board CalTrain,
    36,000 people board BART,
    230,000 vehicles use Highway 101.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Tom Huening also comments that being a blue state with a red Congress complicates funding for the current incremental fixes being proposed.
    He suggests a plan B of doing, “It ourselves.”
    Off course being the wealthiest area, in the wealthiest state, in the wealthiest country in the world is easy for him to say.
    PS – His proposal is for BART to go down the Peninsula on 101.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    BART along HW101 has no room for the track and is like a park and ride system in the greenfield suburbs except there is no greenfield or room for parking.

    BART Millbrae following along route 82, El Camino like in DC as a dig and covered subway.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Current plans are for more carpool lanes on 101 in San Mateo County.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Conversion of lanes maybe.

    There is no room for another lane each way.

    A Yes, but nothing is imminent. San Mateo County is considering converting its network of auxiliary lanes on 101 into carpool lanes from Whipple Avenue to near Interstate 380. The study is just beginning, and a carpool lane is many years away at best. This would keep four lanes open for solo drivers.

    BART along 101 would disrupt HW101 for a decade and be very expensive as it is construction long a busy narrow corridor.

    Better to build a cut and cover subway for the same effort.

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    In rough numbers, subway is double the cost of aerial rail, which is in turn two or three times the cost of surface rail.

    You could put BART on an aerial in the median of US-101 without removing any traffic lanes.

    Or, for far less cost you could build at-grade BART in the center US-101, if you removed the center two traffic lanes.

    Or, you could expand the Caltrain ROW to host two BART tracks plus two HSR/Caltrain tracks for less than the cost of either of the US-101 options.

    Or, you could expand the Caltrain ROW to four standard gauge tracks for even less cost, and run Caltrain at BART frequencies, with cross-platform transfers to BART at Millbrae and Santa Clara.

    All are much better options than a 30-mile subway through suburbia.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Here — show me where along the median. It’s a cement divider.

    https://goo.gl/maps/1iL4arFvt5K2
    And sound from an aerial would carry into the neighborhoods and be visible.

    Here’s the same from above
    https://goo.gl/maps/ok5Nm3Ew4Gq

    No room. Residential neighborhoods butt up against the freeway.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Not that I support it in this situation, but there is always eminent domain…

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    How wide do you think this support is? It looks like about half a traffic lane, so about 6ft.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8389358,-122.269479,3a,30y,163.01h,87.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQWBMh84vn2wP99bx3Z8h1Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    You’d have to widen the freeway by about 6ft total (3ft each side) in areas with medians as narrow as the one you link to, which is entirely doable. There’s usually that much unused space on the outside of the shoulders.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “You could put BART on an aerial in the median of US-101 without removing any traffic lanes.”

    If you say so.

    Constructing an aerial over a heavily used 8-10 lane freeway is very dangerous and expensive. It’s mud and bayfill in an earthquake zone so you’re going to have to anchor those aerials and you’ve got the space of a cement divider and no shoulders on either side of the road.

    No one living here would believe you.

    And El Camino isn’t suburbia. LOL. Route 82 has the VTA 22, a 24 hr line, very busy and VTA runs a 522 express.

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    I’m not in favor of building peninsula BART, I’m just pointing out that there are much cheaper ways to do it than a 30 mile subway.

    El Camino Real is absolutely suburbia. Just look at it: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.3587044,-122.0210997,3a,75y,283.22h,90.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s34j9duTQvfJTApx6uJZhiA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    Of course, that’s 1965 engineering, since retrofitted, and there are spread foundations that are a lot wider than the column. Caltrans has already squeezed every inch out of 101 through successive widenings, so digging the foundations will probably close a lane, which Caltrans doesn’t do. Also, if BART was going to go down the median of 101, it would have to go over existing overpasses and interchanges, requiring much bulkier columns and footings to resist lateral seismic forces when the trains are 60-100′ in the air.
    It’s a silly idea and could never be financed by San Mateo County. Huening is just stirring a pot of stink.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    BART along Caltrain is useless, redundant. Just time transfers at the platforms — that is rebuuild Milbrae.

    The best option for the future fostering more infill and economic development is to run BART along El Camino as a subway.

    I grew up in Chicago so don’t understand WTF is so wasteful about a subway given they carry people and allow economic development without cars.

    Basically everything useful is supposed to be wasteful and too expensive now — yet people pay massive rents to live near this wasteful and too expensive infrastructure.

    LOL calling el camino Suburbia!

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    You can LOL all you want, but unless you can show any evidence of any signs of urban life on El Camino Real, I’ll continue to consider a 30-mile, >$30bn suburban subway to be a completely ridiculous waste of money.

    US-101 BART, for it’s many flaws, would at least be relatively cheap.

    joe Reply:

    Why didn’t you address the facts limiting BART 101? You will need to take lane or two and be building during restricted hours along a busy freeway.

    What are “signs of urban life”? Looming for hookers loitering or hipsters with beards?

    VTA 22/522 is the busiest VTA line which more 522 frequency then 22 local indicating greater demand for longer distance trips. That’s why they want BRT.

    Jon Reply:

    The issues limiting US-101 BART are real, which is why it isn’t seriously being proposed yet. Right now it would still be easier for BART to use the Caltrain ROW, and that’s what they have their eye on. But if Caltrain gets electrified and HSR become a real presence on the corridor, expect BART to look towards US-101 as a plan B. It would be easy to access from Santa Clara, and there are far more destinations and fewer constructability issues in the Santa Clara county section of 101.

    You’ll have to do better than one suburban bus line. VTA 22/522 has 23,000 daily riders over 25 miles, many of them concentrated to the east of downtown San Jose. Muni 38/38R has 52,000 daily riders over 7 miles, which is eight times the number of riders per route mile.That’s what an urban bus line looks like.

    Jon Reply:

    Even SPUR threw this idea out: http://www.spur.org/sites/default/files/publications_pdfs/Appendix_D_Rail_Concepts_for_the_Future.pdf

    They have it pegged as a standard gauge line, but you can be sure that BART would jump at the opportunity. Their plan has a tunnel under the narrow section of 101 which you linked to, where you might have to lose a travel lane with an aerial.

    joe Reply:

    But if Caltrain gets electrified and HSR become a real presence on the corridor, expect BART to look towards US-101 as a plan B.

    Why?

    We’ll have BRT along El Camino.
    http://www.vta.org/projects-and-programs/brt-el-camino-real-brt-project

    We’ll have dedicated Caltrain and HSR track with full grade separations — both systems traveling faster than BART.

    joe Reply:

    VTA 22/522 has 23,000 daily riders

    LOL “only” — it’s not suburbia.

    MUNI 38 — such a lack confidence to use one the most traveled bus in SF as a routine example of “urban”.

    Jon Reply:

    It’s eight times the ridership per mile. You could pick any major bus line in SF and easily beat the 22/522.

    Would you agree that Geary deserves a subway long before El Canina Real does?

    Aarond Reply:

    A Geary subway would have to be paid by SF County voters, whereas an ECR subway would have to be paid by San Mateo County voters. Within the context of SMC, an ECR subway isn’t so outlandish when one realizes that ECR is the economic core of the county.

    Joey Reply:

    Aarond: San Mateo County actually has fewer people (read: people paying taxes) than San Francisco, not to mention the fact that you’re talking about a factor of 5 difference in construction length.

    Jon Reply:

    Genentech, SFO, Oracle, Facebook are the economic drivers of San Mateo County.

    There’s much less reason to do peninsula BART between Millbrae and Redwood City than there is to do it between Redwood City and Santa Clara. Almost all the job centers on the peninsula are on US-101, and north of Redwood City US-101 is close to both Caltrain and ECR, so BART service would be highly duplicative. To the south there are 2-3 miles between the major employers and Caltrain, and further again to ECR.

    Add in the fact that VTA are more excited about BART than SamTrans are at this point and you could imagine Silicon Valley BART Phase 3 heading north from Santa Clara. Googlers and Facebookers could live in Downtown San Jose and take BART to work, providing an urban lifestyle at less cost and with less commute time than living in SF.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Wouldn’t VTA light rail be better for that corridor?

    Jon Reply:

    Hell no, it’s far too slow. It already takes over an hour from downtown SJ to Mountain View.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    What would the point be?

    [Reply]

  38. Danny
    Apr 12th, 2017 at 13:38
    #38

    the Golden Calf and his worshippers are covered on StreetsBlog

    http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/04/11/is-your-local-government-falling-for-the-hyperloop-fantasy/

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Consultants always like money for proposals and studies.
    And heads of agencies always have friends who are consultants.

    [Reply]

  39. morris brown
    Apr 12th, 2017 at 17:50
    #39

    Why Caltrain will not get its $647 million FTA FFGA grant to fund electrification

    Subititle: It doesn’t pay to deceive the public or the FTA.

    Just released is an exhaustive analysis of the Caltrain FTA FFGA grant application, prepared by William Warren:

    Link:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9m407yyFerMTWdSTjdyZXhUSW8?usp=sharing

    Summarized in public comment by Roland Lebrun at the Caltrain 4-06-2017 board meeting

    Video link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-BdUThQsnA

    and also by Charles Voltz:

    Video link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnXxeP7vnjU

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Deceive? Electrification of Caltrain is not deception, it’s for Caltrain and having electric trains instead of Diesel Trains, if HSR gets there one day, then HSR would be using the same catenary as Caltrain, and I have no problem with that.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Radical Morris Brown declares all opposing views illegal, unconstitutional, criminal!

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Yeah Fewer Brown. LOL!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Blaming Caltrain for what?

    The President’s budget cuts Transit.o

    The analysis from the National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) concluded that cuts to the infrastructure budget, would cut off Amtrak, transit, and commuter rail programs, and even air service to some rural towns.

    Morris blames Caltrain and cites Ramble Lebrun. LOL.

    The facts show the fault is a GOP policy to cut transit and for Caltrain cutting the grant can be done as a unilateral decision by the administration.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Thank God the Feds don’t know about this:

    “As delivered, the upper level boarding doors are sealed and 5 seats are configured longitudinally in each vestibule on the intermediate level, accounting for 10 seats per car. These seats will be temporarily removed during the transition to level boarding with high platforms (when both sets of doors must be cleared of seats), diminishing seating capacity by roughly 10%.” http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2016/09/emu-brochure.html

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Add 5th seat upstairs in all EMU cars (requires 3.2m wide car shells): +256 seats/peak hour, near-zero cost if done early in design, makes Roland and other vultures go away

    Spend another 6.5% of PCEP budget ($130M) to exercise 32 option cars and use only 8-car EMUs: +744 seats/peak hour

    Both measures combined: +1088 seats/peak hour or 32% capacity increase.

    Any questions?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    PCEP budget ???

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Governor Brown is “cautiously optimistic” that FFGA will be approved, so I’ll take his word for it. Coupling with the passing of SB-1, Caltrain will have enough money to exercise the KISS option orders, ensuring that Caltrain can start electrified service with 8-car trains.

    Keep your finger crossed :)

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @Clem:

    From your own blog:

    Longer trains won’t work. Train length is limited at stations such as Burlingame and Menlo Park, where grade crossings are found at both ends of the station platforms. Until these locations are grade-separated and new longer platforms are built, adding more cars to make longer trains is not feasible. In any case, most Caltrain platforms limit train lengths to 600 feet (or 7 standard-length cars), at least until they are rebuilt.

    Maybe I don’t understand, but your suggestion that change to 8 car EMUs would not appear to work at least in the immediate future, and maybe never at Menlo Parrk.

    In any case the whole FTA FFGA application needs a complete review, since the FTA was not given correct information to which they could make a valid decision on whether to award the grant.

    The should be “chicken feed” for Senator Jim Beall, who loves Caltrain, warts and all, and he surely can without much effort swing funds from the SB-1 to wherever he wishes (including BART and HSR).

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    @morris brown, you are forgetting that while the new EMU will have less seating capacity, it will have more total capacity. Moreover, train-per-hour will increase with the new EMU due to quicker acceleration and deceleration capabilities. The total system capacity will increase with CalMod, and that was what approval of FFGA is based on.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Also recall HSR blended will fully grade separate all crossing to enable faster operating speeds.
    Menlo Park needs their unsafe crossings grade separated.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ William:

    I posted above links of which you have not apparently taken the time to read and understand.

    Please read the 11 page Warren report, which thoroughly discusses all the options. Even allowing Stadler train sets to run 6 in an hour while existing train sets with larger capacity per train are only allowed 5 per hour, the FFGA application does the calculation, and produces almost no net capacity gain. Your statement here is bogus. Please read and understand the material.

    @ Joe

    Someday, certainly not for many years Menlo Park will get grade separations. They don’t come cheap and as originally planned and sold by the Authority for HSR, the Authority was to pay. Of course that was when the whole HSR project was to cost $33 billion (Phase 1), and 2/3 of that cost was to come from private equity and Federal sources.

    It seems every 6 years or so, a new study is commissioned to do a study. The last one cost, I think, about $800K. Partially pays for some staff time and keeps outside consultants in funds. So I suspect in another 5 years or so, another study will be started, probably costing over $1 million. Hopeless councils just will keep kicking the can down the road.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Persistence is a powerful predictor – you assume no changes.

    Menlo Park will get grade separations and they will be quad track compatible.

    Residents are sick of the congestion and you all have green lit more development in downtown Menlo Park and have more Facebook commuters.

    Current crossings are not safe in the current state and added trains will worsen the congestion.

    Caltrain isn’t stopping because you all procrastinate. Electrified is happening. Blended rail is a done deal. Stonewalling crossings to stop HSR doesn’t stop anything but Menlo Park.

    Wait until the HSR EIR is finished and the USGS land opens up.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ William and others

    So let me take up a little more blog space and post the summary for the Warren report, which apparently few, if any are will to take the time to read:

    Summary:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9m407yyFerMTWdSTjdyZXhUSW8?usp=sharing

    Caltrain may have attempted to “game the system”, to convince the FTA that it qualified for a $647 million grant. Meanwhile, its own documents, recently produced under a Freedom Of Information Act request, show otherwise.

    To achieve the 10% growth in train seat projections, required by the FTA to be eligible for the grant award, only 5 current trains per hour could be compared to the 6 future trains per hour, even though there are instances where 6 trains per hour are being successfully operated today. Also, the addition of a 6th car to 5 car trains needs to be ignored at all costs as they also increase the reported current capacity; such as the addition of a 6th car on one train in April of 2016 and on another in July of 2016.

    So, to show the 10% growth, it is necessary for Caltrain to compare the electrified future capacities to out-of-date, old, smaller capacities that no longer exist. This is contrary to the stated policy of the FTA, where “the project rating may be reassessed to reflect new information”.

    When Caltrain submitted the final version of their application to the FTA, in September, 2016, all these changes had occurred and had been supporting current day to day operations, for months. However, the changes were not incorporated in the September submission.

    For Caltrain, and/or, the FTA to ignore these current operational facts is to ask the Federal government to spend about $1.0 Billion on a project that may provide, in the best case, a growth of 1% to 2% in train seat capacity, and not until about 5 years from now. And such a decision may be responsible for a reduction in capacity, in an environment that is today, frequently “standing room only”.

    I don’t see how the situation can hardly be made any clearer.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    LOL Warren Report.

    The GOP attacked Public transit. Amtrak and all.

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    using tph to argue Caltrain “gamed” the grant application is flawed. CHSR and Caltrain only need to change the accounting practice to count the passengers on the 4 tph HSR trains toward Caltrain in order to discount Warren’s argument.

    I would also argue that 10 tph is only possible with CalMod, so the additional 4~5 tph should count toward the total capacity increase, instead of just counting Caltrain tph.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Trains per hour is Standard Pratice.

    The biggest benefit of modernizing BART’s train control system will be the ability to increase the frequency of trains. We will run more trains on the same system without compromising safety by maximizing the efficiency of the existing tracks. In order to understand how this would be done, you need to understand the two basic types of train control systems.

    http://m.bart.gov/news/articles/2016/news20160502-0

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    @William, again, kindly STFU until you know WTF it is you are rambling about. In the meantime the coo-coos are calling and reserved a perch with your name on it: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    I’m pretty sure most of us can’t follow what you are rambling on about! I certainly can’t. You seem to think that you have Caltrain over a barrel.

    Roland Reply:

    I’m pretty sure most of me can’t follow what you are rambling on about! I certainly can’t. You seem to think that you have the FTA over a barrel.

    Ben Pease Reply:

    Plenty of god analysis at that link. “Breaking News” is the paper on the bottom of the cage.

    Clem Reply:

    I think the “Warren Report” is a bunch of hogwash. I explain why on my blog.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    I think that http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/04/core-capacity-math.html is a bunch of hogwash fully debunked by the Warren report.

    The coo-coo class is now adjourned back to its usual location. Perches at various heights shall be allocated by the grand coo-coo on a first come, first served basis. Happy cackling and please try not to poop on the perch below yours (no on-site toilets).

    And now back to the serious business of high-capacity California Rapid Rail!

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    The “Warren Report” fails to anticipate how easily the capacity number can be increased, should it ever become an actual point of contention. Like Wyle E. Coyote, you are unlikely to trip anything up… you might think you’ve got a box of ACME TNT, but I’ll bet you it’s a dud!

    joe Reply:

    The “Warren Report” fails to anticipate how easily the capacity number can be increased, should it ever become an actual point of contention.

    As of today, no party has claimed the grant application was deficient.

    The request has officially been rolled into the administration’s 2018 budget and that budget draft cuts rail and public transit.

    This “controversy” is peddled by the same guy to insisted “cap and trade” was unconstitutional. Three judges unanimously voted in favor of cap and trade –it’s a fee not a tax.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    What makes the author William H. Warren an expert?

    If you look at the Warren Report online, you will see that the same author has written/contributed to dozens of anti-HSR documents. He is apparently also associated with CC-HSR, who’s only goal is to stop HSR. They have no interest in correcting the flaws of HSR or modernizing Caltrain.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ joe who wrote above:

    The “Warren Report” fails to anticipate how easily the capacity number can be increased, should it ever become an actual point of contention.

    Why then, when I asked Caltrain to provide a spread sheet showing the needed capacity 10% increase, did they refuse to provide one?

    And pray tell who told you the project was included in the FY 18 budget? Where is this citation?

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    They “refused” because you were demanding they create a record. They are required to provide you with existing records, not create new ones.

    Joe Reply:

    Who the hell are you to task a public agency ?

    The administration said the Caltrain grant would be rolled into the FY 18 budget process. Specifically no one objected to the applications correctness or compliance.

    By the way this requires no citation and you are not my professor. Whatever authority you had in your working life did not hold over into retirement.

    In academics it’s common to use a person’s past track record in evaluating grant applications and proposed concepts.

    You insisted that cap and trade was unconstitutional. You were wrong and it wasn’t even close. You’ve been wrong about so many different aspects of this project. If anything you guys need to start demonstrating basic competence. Right now you guys are as credible as medieval alchemists.

    Joe Reply:

    Massive cuts planned. All long distance Amtrak and funding for public transit on cutting block.

    Morris Brown says blame the Caltrain grant paperwork — it was sloppy.

    LOL.

    Same man insisted California’s cap and trade was an unconstitutional tax.

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Lotsa luck to Trump on cutting long distance Amtrak routes. They’ve mainly been kept alive by red-state members of Congress. Amtrak would be more than happy to ax them and concentrate on the NEC and the short distance routes it operates under state contracts.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    How long will the “transition to level boarding” take?
    With a lot of preparatory work, it could be done in a couple of weeks, using temporary scaffolding to raise platforms which are then slowly replaced with more permanent concrete without interrupting service.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It will take years to plan, prioritize and fund station transitions.

    Three counties and each have differing priorities.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    There is plenty of time to prepare, they can’t do anything until the last diesel train has been taken out of service, but the transition period, when seat count is temporarily reduced, could be relatively short.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    The current plan is robust. Caltrain can accommodate a piecemeal approach to platform height transition but Caltrain doesn’t require it happen piecemeal.

    Funding and prioritizing spending is Byzantine in the Bay Area. Atherton will delay just to be dicks about it.

    Hundreds of well off malcontents along the ROW and hot heads and dreamers with plans for modernizing stations, not just transitioning.

    Eventually I can see Caltrain flexing some muscle such adjusting service that reward stations that transition over hold outs.

    I also predict Camtrain will eliminate Atherton’s station rather than wait for the city change platform height.

    [Reply]

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Eliminate Atherton NOW!!!!

    Screw them and their tier 4 diesels and quad gates. Tier 4 diesels can perform as well as or even better than EMUs, quad gates will prevent any grade crossing accidents, yeah right!!!

    Of course it’s not only Atherton, but Atherton is the center of the anti everything universe.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Caltrain can announce the date that they will begin to permanently seal the lower doors to increase seat capacity, any low platform station will see less and less trains stopping.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    How so?

    The counties fund and control Caltrain. How do you propose Caltrain can assert a deadline and enforce it? You are assuming raising platforms is higher priority then all other work for which there is not enough money.

    All to add some seats on Caltrain knowing people can stand and lord help us we removed bike space and added many more seats.

    My 12 year old son can inform me he’s done with math and piano – I inform him I’m done with his privileges at home.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “Caltrain can announce the date that they will begin to permanently seal the lower doors to increase seat capacity” has just been bronzed in perpetuity.

    [Reply]

  40. Roland
    Apr 12th, 2017 at 23:40
    #40

    Add 5th seat upstairs in all EMU cars (requires 3.2m wide car shells).
    Kindly retire to your favorite perch: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Did you have an actual response to my point that Caltrain can and should make minor changes to produce an unambiguous seating capacity increase?

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    I always find it somewhat amusing when Roland tells people to go away when they disagree with his interpretations. It’s not your blog, Roland.

    [Reply]

  41. Roland
    Apr 13th, 2017 at 00:07
    #41

    Kindly help me understand which part of 3.2m it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    3.25 meters is the metric equivalent of AAR Plate F (10 feet 8 inches), the loading gauge that has been practiced on the peninsula corridor for several decades. I hope my kindness promotes your understanding.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    3.0m is the width of the rolling stock used by Caltrain in the Peninsula for several decades.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_BiLevel_Coach#Construction
    I hope my kindness promotes your understanding.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    And the width of the new rolling stock should precisely match the width of the old rolling stock because… ?!?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    And the width of the new rolling stock should precisely exceed the width of the current rolling stock by 250mm because… ?!?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    So it can have more seats!!!

    FTA is no doubt familiar with New York area commuter railroads, where 3.2 meter wide vehicles are commonly operated with 5-abreast seating.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: Further to a recent FTA fracas (and by subsequent popular demand), SamTrans announces a 20 seating capacity increase on Caltrain achieved by replacing armrests with 8-inch seats.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: Further to a recent FTA fracas (and by subsequent popular demand), SamTrans announces a 20% seating capacity increase on Caltrain achieved by replacing armrests with 8-inch seats.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Have you ever been on East Coast commuter trains, or is that beyond your zone of familiarity? Your scare-mongering about five-abreast seating is both silly and disingenuous. You like links, right?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M7_(railcar)#/media/File:LIRR_M-7_EMU_Interior.jpg
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M8_(railcar)#/media/File:M8interior.jpg
    http://www.railpictures.net/photo/320992/

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Do you own a passport an, if so, have you ever traveled anywhere east of the east-coast of the United States or is that beyond your zone of familiarity? Your scare-mongering about four-abreast seating is both silly and disingenuous.

    Peter Reply:

    When loading gauge is limited (like in most of Europe), you are going to have narrower trains with 4 abreast seating.

    When loading gauge is greater, there is really no reason why you can’t have 5 abreast seating (like on NJT cars or in Japan).

    EJ Reply:

    Hey Roland this is the point when an intelligent adult would make an argument as to why Caltrain rolling stock needs to stay 3.0 m wide. How about you give that a shot?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Hey EJ this is the point when an intelligent adult would make an argument as to why Caltrain rolling stock needs to go to 3.2 m wide. How about you give that a shot?

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    In one of your replies above, you provided a link to the answer:
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/04/core-capacity-math.html

    Build the train cars 3.2 meters wide with five-abreast seating on the upper deck (the lower deck would remain four-abreast with a wider aisle). A car width of 3.2 meters is within the AAR Plate F loading gauge that is cleared to operate on the peninsula corridor, and is a common width in East Coast commuter railroads (the LIRR M7, the Metro North M8, and the SEPTA Silverliner V are all 3.2 meters wide with sections of five-abreast seating). Why Caltrain hasn’t already pursued this is baffling, because it is a low-cost and high-benefit change regardless of FTA rules. The Stadler KISS EMU that Caltrain ordered has previously been delivered in widths up to 3.4 meters. This design change is worth +64 seats per six-car EMU, or +256 seats/peak hour, or +7.5% core capacity.

    And that’s only the start!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: Further to a recent FTA fracas (and by subsequent popular demand), SamTrans announces a 20% seating capacity increase on Caltrain achieved by replacing armrests with 8-inch seats.

    Clem Reply:

    I guess Adirondacker can chime in regarding why railroads west of the Mississippi can’t possibly be like SEPTA.

    Roland Reply:

    But, but, but, whatever happened to the upper deck and the other sets of doors complete with internal chair lifts? On a related note, the “flat” floor in the last picture reminds me of a Stadler train I walked through last year.

    EJ Reply:

    Clem already made the argument. All you’ve said in opposition to it is your usual name-calling and tantrums.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help Clem understand which part of http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2016/2016-05-05+Annual+Counts.pdf slide 13 it is that he does not understand.

    William Reply:

    What Clem proposed will increase number of seats on the EMU and alleviate the overcrowding situation shown in slide 13. This is your goal, right?

    Joe Reply:

    No.

    His goal is a hybrid train that can reach his under serviced stop, Blossom Hill/San Jose and provide him with a seat to the SF area.

    Blossom Hill is one of two stops south of the electrified corridor in San Jose, and three more south of San Jose.

    Roland Reply:

    No.

    Clem asserted that:
    1) “Opponents have pointed out that well before the date of the FTA grant application, train 225 was converted to a six-car Bombardier consist seating about 790 passengers, increasing the baseline by 170 seats and thus cutting the capacity increase fully in half, from 10% to an ineligible 5%.”

    2) “The only numerically valid claim regarding today’s capacity baseline is that a sixth car was added to ONE of the trains.”, conveniently ignoring trains # 217 & 221: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/_Marketing/caltrain/pdf/2016/2016Annual+Passenger+Counts.pdf (page 34).

    He also conveniently ignored train #305 (Operations at Project Opening) with an impossible seat count of 804 even if the train had bike car #219 as one of its three bike cars (bike car #219 is allegedly the only bike car with 127 seats).

    Clem Reply:

    page 34 shows trains 217, 319, 221, 323 and 225 have seating capacity of 650, 762, 650, 762, 762. Total: 3586 seats per peak hour, 183 more than Caltrain’s core capacity baseline of 3403.

    Trains 217 and 221 are listed as five-car gallery sets, which are being “conveniently ignored” how?

    What am I missing?

    Roland Reply:

    1) #217 was upgraded to a “762”-seat Bombardier on Monday July 25 2016 (http://www.caltrain.com/Page4493.aspx) coincidentally within 4 weeks of a minor MTC June 2016 fracas reporting 11 Metrolink railcars parked at CEMOF):

    2) #221 was a 5-car Gallery set with 650 seats (not 600 as reported to the FTA).

    3) There are only six (#231-236) 140-seat Bombardier cars in the entire fleet, so it is physically impossible to build more that two consists with only 762 ((3×114) + (3×140)) seats.

    4) The other sets either have 774 ((3×144) + (3×114)) or 789 ((3×149) + (3×114)) seats.

    5) “Magic” train #305, (804 seats) needs “magic” bike car #219 and its 127 seats to get to 802 ((3×149) + (2×114) +127) seats. The additional two non-existent seats were apparently added to arrive to the next multiple of six (6×134 = 804).

    Are we having fun yet?

    joe Reply:

    Notice Lebrun couldn’t explain why trains need to remain 3m wide.

    Clem Reply:

    Thank you. Incidentally, I did save screenshot of the fleet description page that Caltrain recently took down to protect itself from seating mathematicians.

    I have updated my post accordingly.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27497727 it is that you do not understand.

    joe Reply:

    Why must Caltrain remain 3 meters wide?

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem. Thank you.

    It is the same as the web archive and does not reflect the 24 seats they ripped out of eight of the sixteen Metrolink cars (five to make up the 5 x third bike cars and another three to make up the 6th 3-bike car Bombardier set after the CEMOF Metrolink parking fracas).

    William Reply:

    I see that Roland doesn’t realize that the loading gauge will be widened when CalMod is done, as specified in the RFP.

    Roland Reply:

    @William, again, Clem has a nice perch with your name written on it. Just watch out for those above yours (shit happens).

    William Reply:

    If adding more seats to the EMU is Roland’s goal, he could have use his time at the Caltrain board meeting arguing for 3.2m+ wide train body and 5-abreast seating arrangements, instead of marrying to a train design that’s designed for SNCF’s need, but a poor fit to what Caltrain intended to run.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    William, again, the coo-coo perches are located here: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-virtues-of-width.html

    [Reply]

  42. morris brown
    Apr 14th, 2017 at 06:23
    #42

    LA Times: The price of safety on California’s bullet train is only now becoming apparent

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “Possible”

    “I would never expect the rail authority to sacrifice safety to save money,” said Louis Thompson, the chairman of a state-appointed peer review panel for the project and a former executive at the Federal Railroad Administration. So it’s “entirely possible,” he said, that new safety problems or ones that emerge as more serious than first thought will drive up the cost.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-safety-20170414-story.html

    No evidence but there’s always a possibility of something unforeseen and if this not yet real possible thing is expensive to fix then the cost will go up.

    Possible but nothing at all.
    Just possible.
    And maybe cost more.

    Also Possible

    EXCLUSIVE: These THREE asteroids REALLY could HIT Earth and ‘wipe out life’
    FORGET doommongers’ predictions a 2.5-miles asteroid NASA knows nothing about will hit Earth this month, because scientists admit these THREE very real space rocks actually could hit our planet and cause global devastation.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/607448/EXCLUSIVE-These-THREE-asteroids-REALLY-could-HIT-Earth-and-wipe-out-life
    </blockquote

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “The project cut its budget by $1.6 billion by planning to eliminate mechanical ventilation, relying instead on a strategy to “compartment” smoke in a train fire, and by reducing the diameter of tunnels, according to documents in the rail authority’s 2016 business plan.” it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    There is no negative impact due to the switch in strategy.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “relying instead on a strategy to “compartment” smoke in a train fire” it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Still no reason given to suggest this design has any negative impact.

    Another reason your comments might end up in moderation.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Can someone else help this retard understand what it is that he does not understand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaprun_disaster#Casualties_and_aftermath

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Besides “tunnel” and “train”, there is nothing in this case that applies to CHSR.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    So far so good. Next assignment: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110131042819/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/highspeedrail/hs2ltd/routeengineering/pdf/appendixatok.pdf (Appendix B on page 36)

    joe Reply:

    Still nothing coherent from Mr. “Look at this link and infer that I actually made some salient contribution.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of “relying instead on a strategy to “compartment” smoke in a train fire” it is that you do not understand.

    Jerry Reply:

    How is a fire on a ship compartmentilized?

    Roland Reply:

    Relevance?

    joe Reply:

    Jerry, Let Mr. Lebrun tell us his concerns.
    We wait for him to stop asking questions and articulate his concern(s).

    joe Reply:

    Tunnel size reductions were based on the advice of European engineers reviewing CHSRA preliminary designs.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Why must Caltrain remain 3 meters wide?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    CHSRA and “preliminary design” is an oxymoron.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    ____ and ____ is an oxymoron.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    As in “Joe” and “salient comment”.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    LA Times

    Worn wheels, defective axles, weak crossties and misaligned rails, as well as human error, also cause derailments. Nature can play havoc, as well.

    An Altamont Corridor Express train derailed a year ago when a mudslide pushed a downed tree onto the tracks about 45 miles east of San Francisco. The derailed train plunged into a creek, injuring nine people.

    Nine injured.

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/12/13/parents-killed-2-children-hurt-in-rollover-crash-near-altamont/

    Two parents died in a single-vehicle collision on Interstate Highway 580 Sunday morning east of Altamont in unincorporated Alameda County, according to firefighters.

    The incident was reported on eastbound Highway 580 west of W. Grant Line Road at 10:38 a.m.

    The vehicle may have hydroplaned on pooling water before it rolled over multiple times and came to rest down an embankment, according to Battalion Chief Stephanie Radecke with the Alameda County Fire Department.

    2 dead.

    Looking at traffic fatalities per mile traveled in the U.S., analyst Todd Litman found that riding commuter or intercity rail is about 20 times safer than driving; riding metro or light rail is about 30 times safer; and riding the bus is about 60 times safer.
    http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/12/19/heres-how-much-safer-transit-is-compared-to-driving/

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “The project cut its budget by $1.6 billion by planning to eliminate mechanical ventilation, relying instead on a strategy to “compartment” smoke in a train fire, and by reducing the diameter of tunnels, according to documents in the rail authority’s 2016 business plan.”

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    This Times story on safety was front page in Saturday’s 4-15-2017 print edition.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-safety-20170414-story.html

    The last 2 paragraphs

    “But when Sylmar-based contractor Tutor Perini Corp. sent the rail authority a letter adding a proposed $140 million to its bill for building the barriers along 31 miles of track in the Central Valley, the officials balked.

    The money “simply does not exist for these change requests,” chief engineer Scott Jarvis wrote in an internal email that The Times obtained under a public records act request. So, Jarvis said in the email, the authority would begin searching for cheaper alternatives.”

    would indicate the Authority choosing cost over safety, despite what Alley and Thompson might have you believe.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    HSR worldwide has had 4 total accidents, and Japan has had No accidents in 53yrs, the LA Times article is, CRAP

    Ralph Vertabrain, has a Biased Axe to grind…

    4-HSR Accidents
    Accident
    #1 caused by Mechanical Failure of a Defective Wheel,
    #2 and #3 Operator Error, PTC would have cured these,
    #4 Normal Safety equipment on a Test Train was turned off, train was going 10% faster than Track/ROW allowed.

    Accidents

    In general, travel by high-speed rail has been demonstrated to be remarkably safe. The first high-speed rail network, the Japanese Shinkansen has not had any fatal accidents involving passengers since it began operating in 1964.[72]

    Notable major accidents involving high-speed trains include the following.
    1.The 1998 Eschede accident
    Main article: Eschede train disaster

    In 1998, after over thirty years of high-speed rail operations worldwide without fatal accidents, the Eschede accident occurred in Germany: a poorly designed ICE 1 wheel fractured at a speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) near Eschede, resulting in the derailment and destruction of almost the entire set of 16 cars, and the death of 101 people.[73][74]
    2.The 2011 Wenzhou accident
    Main article: Wenzhou train collision

    On 23 July 2011, 13 years after the Eschede train accident, a Chinese CRH2 traveling at 100 km/h (62 mph) collided with a CRH1 which was stopped on a viaduct in the suburbs of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, China. The two trains derailed, and four cars fell off the viaduct. Forty people were killed, at least 192 were injured, 12 of which were severe injuries.[75]

    The disaster led to a number of changes in management and exploitation of high-speed rail in China. Despite the fact that speed itself was not a factor in the accident, one of the major changes was the lowering by 50 km/h (31 mph) of all maximum speeds in China HST, 350 km/h (217 mph) becoming 300, 250 km/h (155 mph) becoming 200, and 200 km/h (124 mph) becoming 160.[76][77]
    3.The 2013 Santiago de Compostela accident
    Main article: Santiago de Compostela derailment

    In July 2013, a high-speed train in Spain traveling at 190 km/h (120 mph) attempted to negotiate a curve whose speed limit is 80 km/h (50 mph). The train derailed and overturned, resulting in 78 fatalities.[78] Normally high-speed rail has automatic speed limiting restrictions, but this track section is a conventional section and in this case the automatic speed limit was said to be disabled by the driver several kilometers before the station. A few days later, the train worker’s union claimed that the speed limiter didn’t work properly because of lack of proper funding, acknowledging the budget cuts made by the current government.[citation needed] Two days after the accident, the driver was provisionally charged with homicide by negligence. This is the first accident that occurred with a Spanish high-speed train, but it occurred in a section that was not high speed.[79]
    4.The 2015 Eckwersheim accident
    Main article: Eckwersheim derailment

    On 14 November 2015, a specialized TGV EuroDuplex was performing commissioning tests on the unopened second phase of the LGV Est high-speed line, when it entered a curve, overturned, and struck the parapet of a bridge over the Marne–Rhine Canal. The rear power car came to a rest in the canal, while the remainder of the train came to a rest in the grassy median between the northern and southern tracks. Approximately 50 people were on board, consisting of SNCF technicians and, reportedly, some unauthorized guests. Eleven were killed and 37 were injured. The train was performing tests at 10 percent above the planned speed limit for the line and should have slowed from 352 km/h (219 mph) to 176 kilometres per hour (109 mph) before entering the curve. Officials have indicated that excessive speed may have caused the accident.[80] During testing some safety features that usually prevent accidents like this one are switched off.

    [Reply]

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    The point of the article is that California is considering alignments and engineering alternatives that are not in line with the measures other systems have taken to ensure safety.

    Part of the issue is that the US relies on freight rail in a way that western Europe does not. It also permits poor track maintenance, seeing derailments as part of the cost of doing business.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    The point of the article is that California is considering alignments and engineering alternatives that are not in line with the measures other systems have taken to ensure safety.

    The point of the article is FUD.

    There are no identified deficiencies in any proposed alternative.

    The change in tunnel bore diameter for example is to right size the tunnel bore to state of the art practices. The cost saving change was proposed by European, I believe Spanish experts.

    It saves taxpayers money and has no ill-effect.

    Sad that a neutral rail advocacy group fails to identify these wise cost saving decisions.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Part of the issue is that the US relies on freight rail in a way that western Europe does not. It also permits poor track maintenance, seeing derailments as part of the cost of doing business.

    These safety problems are not taxpayer problems but US freight operators not following the law and are at risk for massive lawsuits due to deferred maintenance. Ford Pinto class negligence is what you tell us.

    These dangerous chemicals and tanks (mentioned by the LATimes as HSR risks) are apparently allowable and safe in American cities now and tomorrow but when HSR comes they will be horrible safety risks.

    [Reply]

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Do not disagree at all that current regulatory framework which allows all sorts of unsafe practices is a problem generally. A derailing freight train hitting a train going 220 mph through an urbanized area would take these risks to an entirely new level.

    The issue is that CHSRA, who should have known and understood these issues, have decided to co-locate with freight rail and plan to go full speed through several cities yet don’t want to pay the cost of expensive safety barriers.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not the high speed trains derailing, why should they pay for the safety measures?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I’m a taxpayer. It’s not my job to spend my tax dollars or worse, not build HSR, because a corporation decided unsafe operations are profitable.

    Our courts can remedy that accusation, if true, with punitive damages for the unethical decision or we can advocate for responsible rail and apply law now and save taxpayer money. .

    As I said, these unsafe trains currently carry hazardous chemicals and tanks in our CA cities today. Only when HSR shares the ROW is this an OMG issue.

    It is cynical for the Times to have let this issue sit until it could be used a a tool to harm HSR.

    Why now?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    BTW, the total cost of HSR’s “scandalous” mitigation for sharing the ROW is $130M which is less than the cost to rebuild the Hillsdale Caltrain Station in San Mateo County.

    Commuters catching Caltrain at the Hillsdale station could soon be hopping aboard further north as San Mateo has officially secured the vast majority of its funding for a $165.3 million grade separation and station relocation project.

    – See more at: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2016-10-10/hillsdale-station-nears-move-san-mateo-secures-another-65m-toward-caltrain-grade-separation-project/1776425169579.html#sthash.KBIcx4Dd.dpuf

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Do you agree the grade separations and elaborate gates along the Caltrain ROW is another waste of money or more risk than the current 79MPH system?

    I don’t.

    The authority decided, for example, to share track from San Jose to San Francisco with the Caltrain commuter service, instead of building its own track on an elevated viaduct through Silicon Valley. That saved the project about $30 billion.

    That means crossing 42 highways, a safety risk that planners would address by installing elaborate gates to fully block the intersections, where about 13 fatal collisions between standard-speed trains and motor vehicles already occur every year.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    where about 13 fatal collisions between standard-speed trains and motor vehicles already occur every year

    …is a grossly inaccurate statement. I hope the LA Times publishes a correction. The number of fatal vehicle strikes on the peninsula corridor averages somewhere below 1 per year.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct and Network Rail (the contractor working on the grade crossing enhancements in the Peninsula) is totally familiar with the technology capable of stopping trains in an emergency: https://youtu.be/cuO2Fu63d0o.

    Roland Reply:

    Freight derailments could be handled with the same system as the one the SNCF uses to stop the TGV from hitting wayward trucks and combined harvesters (https://youtu.be/wCeQuJBYlXM?t=1158) but tunnels are the only known solution for going through densely populated areas at more than 170 KPH.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Corrected link: https://youtu.be/wCeQuJBYlXM?t=1140.

    joe Reply:

    Neither Lebrun nor Morris Brown can identify any negative impact in a design.
    None.

    Morris Brown simultaneously complains about cost increases and cost savings.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Another, equally plausible explanation, unless you’re just trying to make the Authority look bad, is that Tutor’s letter was simply the opening salvo of the change order process. Presumably, the Authority performed an Independent Cost Estimate, and Tutor is WAY higher in order to raise its profit margins.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Right.

    The Authority & Contractors agreed to binding arbitration for contentious change orders.

    The resolution of this disagreement will be by mutual consent or by arbitration. If the authority is actually putting safety at risk the contractor will win in arbitration.

    [Reply]

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Not mentioned by Vartabedian:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39609977

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    It involves bullshit so there is no excuse for the omission.

    Meanwhile one highway between Santa Cruz and Bay Area is More dangerous than HSR.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/sjm-hwy17-0415-901.jpg

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Right again (100% perfect score): https://youtu.be/LhplyPl14HA

    [Reply]

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I thought it would revive the debate about level boarding.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The debate is over: “Another bill that passed the committee Wednesday, Senate Bill 981, from state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, would mandate that any high-speed rail in Texas would have to be built in such a way as to be compatible “with more than one type of rail technology.”

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Sounds ok to Me, I wonder if there is a catch?

    Roland Reply:

    No catch and I wish the FRA would save us all the trouble of having to introduce identical legislation in every single state.

    Joe Reply:

    The Catch is Texas HSR is an isolated system and thus not subject to interoperability constraints. These constraints include crash worthiness with freight. Japan’s funding the system and their fleet/product is not compliant with crash standards so this requirement is essentially a poison pill.

    Maybe it makes sense to have interoperability on a closed, within Texas system to allow growth in the future.
    I suspect this is about using law to kill the project.

    Roland Reply:

    And who do you think manufactures Virgin Azumas? Could it be an obscure Japanese company who just inaugurated a brand new factory in Miami-Dade?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Joe. Do you think that the closed system is a good idea? It might delay or prevent future extension to locations like Austin/San Antonio, Little Rock/Memphis, New Orleans, and Oklahoma City/Tulsa.

    joe Reply:

    A Texan Engineer was quoted once and said Public and Private systems should be designed differently due to different objectives: Private asset for Profit vs Public infrastructure for maximum utility.

    The system is:
    Good thing because Texas can get a HSR system running quickly and for little cost.

    Good if the US drags its feet and this profitable system can be expanded outside the US rail network and FRA regulations for freight etc.

    Good/Bad since this system depends of Japanese rail tech which locks them into an architecture that is successful.

    Bad that this system cannot legally link to the greater US Network although timed transfers at the same platform would foster interoperability.

    Bad because the private investment will not make that last link into the city core due to high cost.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s going to be standard gauge. If they wanted to run steam trains over it they could. Or turbine powered ones or horse drawn ones or..

    joe Reply:

    “could”
    Could be or could not be. Not interested in could’ling with you dude.

    I refereed to the system, not track.

    The entire system will be privately owned by Japanese rail interests and will run Japanese built trains which are incompatible with the US rail system. This system will not be able to connect to the US rail system.

    “could” heh

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Talking-to-Yourself

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The 17 is an evil highway. It needs some work, and this is one route where I’d have no problem spending a billion on highway upgrades.

    [Reply]

    Reedman Reply:

    Caltrain kills a dozen people per year on average. If the measure is “deaths per vehicle-mile”, CA17 looks safe.

    [Reply]

    Joey Reply:

    Deaths per vehicle mile is not a meaningful metric when comparing vehicles that carry a few people vs vehicles carrying hundreds.

    For highway to highway comparisons, it’s fine.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Caltrain is used as a method of suicide by about twelve people per year on average, yes.

    [Reply]

    Max Wyss Reply:

    With railroads, one should make the distinction between passengers, staff, and others. Relevant for comparison would be passengers plus staff. Suicides would be “others”, and therefore not counted for comparing safety.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Curious so I checked. Here’s a paper via NIH.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3933256/

    Background
    The majority of fatalities on the European Union (EU) railways are suicides, representing about 60% of all railway fatalities. The aim of this study was to compare time patterns of suicidal behaviour on railway tracks in Germany between two observation periods (1995–1998 and 2005–2008) in order to investigate their stability and value in railway suicide prevention.
    ..
    Results

    A total of 7,187 railway suicides were recorded within both periods: 4,102 (57%) in the first period (1995–1998) and 3,085 (43%) in the second (2005–2008).

    Yes suicides should be tracked separately as they are the dominate cause of death in Europe.

    More evidence the LATImes’ HSR coverage is awful.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Risk would compare vehicle miles to passenger miles. Caltrain is far safer than HW17.

    Rail is 20-30 times safer than driving,

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Consider collateral deaths:

    2362 pedestrian / bike deaths in San Mateo County 2009-2013.
    44% of these deaths (1039) occurred in the pedestrian row.
    That’s 259 per year and 13 Caltrain suicides for the entire 3 county system.
    http://www.gethealthysmc.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/get_healthy_collision_report_flyer.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    I strongly doubt that more than one pedestrian or biker dies every day in San Mateo County.

    joe Reply:

    Yep, I should have thought that through.

    It’s “deaths and injuries”.

    joe Reply:

    San Mateo Corner; Ave. MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC CRASHES deaths per year 2013-15 -> 39.3
    https://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/ohir/Documents/SANMATEO.xlsx

    These include pedestrian deaths by inference as tohow they are classified in Santa Clara/SanJose:

    The collision marked the 12th traffic fatality of the year in San Jose and the 10th involving a pedestrian, marking a steep increase over 2016, when 18 pedestrians were killed over the course of the entire year.

    In 2014 and 2015, San Jose recorded 23 pedestrian deaths, a 20-year high, and has trended upward in that somber category for several years.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/04/san-jose-sharp-rise-in-pedestrian-deaths-continues-with-monday-collision/

  43. William
    Apr 14th, 2017 at 09:32
    #43

    OT: spam-free discussion of the SF-SJ HSR alignment published in the April 2017 Community Open House:
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/sanfran_sanjose.html

    Millbrae: BART station is still untouched, but CHSR is proposing a four-track station expanding the station on the Caltrain (West) side, with Caltrain on the outer side platforms and CHSR on the center island platform. The underground tunnel seems to be no longer in play.

    Palo Alto: It is disappointing that the current alignment through the station stays with only minor curve adjustment on the approaches. An straightened and elevated platforms would be better.

    San Jose: North approach on HSR-only viaduct is still in play. If the viaduct is going to cut through some warehouses and San Jose Arena parking lot, the whole 4-track Caltrain/UP alignment can do the samething at-grade as well to smooth out the curve around CEMOF, and possibily save some money in addition to an at-grade CHSR station. College Park station stays in all alternatives.

    South San Franciso and Hillsdale: island platform on two-track, but obviously left room to construct another set of tracks and island platform for future 4-track expansion.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Terrible Millbrae design!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not for much longer. The entire bloody lot is about to get fired.

    [Reply]

  44. Roland
    Apr 14th, 2017 at 15:16
    #44

    Breaking News: SamTrans rips $43,827,600 off the PCEP carcass:
    http://www.smcta.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/TA/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2017/2017-04-06+TA+Agenda+Packet.pdf (click on item 10.b)

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Summary: Funding swap between MTC and SMCTA.

    MTC agrees to fund SSF Station Project using funds ineligible for Caltrain Electrification (PCEP) while SMCTA agrees to fund PCEP using funds previously allocated for SSF project.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Good that MTC is helping out with Caltrain electrification.

    Peninsula NIMBYs are left with nitpicking how applications are filled-in and imagining safety issues as the Bay Area rallies behind electrification.

    CARRD should be demanding Electrification and fighting back on the exclusion of standing room capacity — that is what an honest advocacy group would be doing to improve rail.

    Standing capacity on Caltrain should count.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    When was the last time you made a salient contribution to this blog (or anything else)?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    What happened to Synomouse?

    Why doesn’t he post here anymore?

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    I thinks that’s a more relevant question for you.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    What happened to Synomouse?

    Why doesn’t he post here anymore?

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    In honor of @synonymouse: The All-Powerful Tejon Ranch

    [Reply]

    Neil Shea Reply:

    A bot could do that: blah, blah Tejon Ranch Co., The Chandlers, Jerry Brown, Tin Foil Hats

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You left out blah blah blah Palmdale will destroy everything.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    – MTC: REAL FTA money dedicated to the PCEP being redirected to SSF (yet another SamTrans/Clem/Richard fustercluck).

    – SMCTA: Non-existant Measure A funds “programmed” multiple times towards multiple “projects” knowing fully well that the call for Measure A funds for the PCEP will never come through because the project is dead.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Following the sweet scent of the money trail: https://youtu.be/ClBT-qi7dG4

    [Reply]

  45. Roland
    Apr 14th, 2017 at 16:56
    #45

    Paging all Caltrain bike riders (electric bikers need not apply). Please look out for bike car #219 and post the following information on this blog if you find it:
    1) Bike capacity
    2) Seat capacity (upstairs and downstairs)
    3) Train number the bike car was located on
    4) Date, time and location of sighting

    Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  46. Roland
    Apr 14th, 2017 at 17:08
    #46
  47. agb5
    Apr 15th, 2017 at 02:38
    #47

    Meanwhile in court both side have filed their pleadings.
    The Authority are trying to have the injunction case against spending bond funds dismissed because:
    – Plaintiff filed the wrong type of case to block an administrative decision.
    – Plaintiff has not come close to showing “irreparable harm”.
    – Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits because their arguments are nonsense.

    If the case is not thrown out, Flashmans only argument is that, in the phrase “suitable and ready”, “ready” has a special meaning that you won’t find in a any dictionary.

    Flashman argues that, according to his reading of Prop1A, “upon completion” of a usable segment, a high-speed revenue service MUST begin IMMEDIATELY.

    But he implicitly concedes, as he must, that rolling stock, signaling systems and electrification systems must be tested and certified before any high-speed passenger service can begin.

    He also implicitly concedes that he has no explanation for why Prop1A talks about usable segments being used by “trains other than high-speed trains”.

    He argues that “operations” can only mean “revenue service”, but Prop1A is all about incrementally building out a piece of physical infrastructure and does not define revenue service.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: nobody will be able to prove “irreparable harm” until the day these clowns blast a train at 200 MPH through downtown Fresno by which time the $10B in Prop1A Bonds will be long since gone.
    Par-Tay. J-O-B-S. Woo-ooh!!!

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Really?

    Plaintiff filed the wrong type of case to block an administrative decision.

    Opponents nitpick HSR but can they competently litigate the case?

    Recall Laurel and Hardy failed to challenge the legitimacy of the bond act leglislation. They tried to amend the lawsuit during litigation but this addition was rightly challenged and reject by the judge. They initially won but lost on appeal after Kenney was overturned.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    In this case they preemptively sued for something that had not happened yet and then tried to amend the complaint when the thing they though would happen did happen.

    The Authority insists that legally this is not allowed.

    Now they complain to the judge that if they have to start over with a new lawsuit, The Authority will have already spend all the money, boo hoo.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    O M G

    Previously Plantiffs *forgot* to challenge the bond authorization act’s legality. For that reason Judge Kenney could not invalidate the legislation. He then innovated and tried to block the law based on process, micromanaging *how* the Leglislature should have held hearings and etc. That tactic was over ruled on constitutional grounds.

    Will the Judge feel compelled to fix this mistake?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    O-M-G. The Clairon du Garlique is having chronology issues. Quelle affaire!!!

    [Reply]

    Alan Reply:

    Is there a link to the respective arguments?

    [Reply]

  48. Roland
    Apr 15th, 2017 at 13:26
    #48

    Breaking News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: https://youtu.be/ClBT-qi7dG4

    [Reply]

  49. Wells
    Apr 15th, 2017 at 14:25
    #49

    Portland’s #12 busline(s) is Barbur Blvd through deeply forested hillside.
    Portland’s Metro is proposing LRT for the corridor, never mind the bus route is one of the best.
    I’m asking for oppositional views to this half-baked MAX expansion.
    I’ve helped build other MAX lines and propose other IMO better expansions.
    AORTA (Associated Oregon Rail Transit backs me up on WES to MAX conversion.
    Introducing my premier design “Subway MAX x3”
    Waterfront route with 2 stops, Saturday Mkt and Salmon Springs Fountain.
    Greenline Spur onto Orange Line Southeast, instead of destructive Barbur Blvd LRT.
    Please no offhand remarks, okay?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Okay.

    [Reply]

    Anandakos Reply:

    What bullshit. Metro has no plans whatever for LRT in the Burnside corridor. For one thing, it’s far too steep and for a second, the MAX tunnel is less than a mile to the south. And for a third, there’s no “there” there. Go back to your meds.

    [Reply]

    Anandakos Reply:

    Oh, sorry, I misread “Barbur” and “Burnside”.

    They’re not going to build LRT in the Barbur corridor either. There’s no money now and none coming for at least a decade.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Kate Brown wants a big infrastructure bill, which would almost certainly include Barbur MAX.

    [Reply]

  50. Wells
    Apr 16th, 2017 at 08:30
    #50

    A proposed rail project of this type, should get some national attention.
    I try to keep up with platform height questions and backed off on Tehachapi.
    BRT supporters can learn how BRT ‘there’ offers more rider and development benefits.
    A lot can be learned studying this original electric RR Portland to Eugene.
    For some reason, Portland’s Metro is stuck in approval mode for Barbur Blvd LRT.
    I’m calling my latest design “Subway MAX x3” and could be called it a dandy.
    A conversion WES-to-MAX corridor is major.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Okay.

    [Reply]

  51. Roland
    Apr 16th, 2017 at 19:43
    #51
  52. morris brown
    Apr 17th, 2017 at 09:23
    #52

    Attn: Robert

    If I view this thread without logging in, I find 4 instances of the following (shortened here)

    ———–
    khsieeyg
    Apr 17th, 2017 at 09:00
    #57

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Handbags & Wallets, http://www.shopbrilliant.top/handbags-wallets-c-1_20/hot-pink-rhinestone-buckle-look-shoulder-handbag-concealed-carry-purse-p-14082.html

    Clothing, http://www.closetmodish.top/clothing-c-1_2/women-ladies-sweatshorts-gym-workout-shorts-yoga-short-pant-p-10187.html

    Clothing, http://www.fashionprimary.top/clothing-c-15_20/the-unbranded-brand-mens-skinny-indigo-selvedge-jean-in-ub101-p-14430.html

    Shirts, http://www.marketlicensed.top/shirts-c-7_14_15/vans-high-dry-tshirt-mens-mint-p-17997.html ……………..

    ——————–

    When I view after logging in — these are not present.

    morris

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Same thing happens with me, just with a different sp(c)ammer’s “name”.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Ditto and easily fixed with F5.
    Permanent fix: trash the cookie jar.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Trashing the cookie jar, here that would be F9.

    [Reply]

    Edward Reply:

    For a free and universal cure, and not just for here, check out:

    http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

    I’m not using Windows, but it works just fine. A hosts file is a plain text file. Pretty universal. Kills lots of malware sites too.

    [Reply]

  53. Anandakos
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 02:11
    #53

    “Tunnel the entire United States”?!?!?! How much money does this guy think the Treasury has? I thought the super-secret sauce that made Hyperloop so much better than rail is that you can elevate it almost everywhere and avoid tunnels. But if you’re going to put it underground, it makes MUCH more sense just to use standard rail on the surface.

    [Reply]

    Loren Petrich Reply:

    I’d used the Gotthard Base Tunnel as a reference in an earlier post, and I came up $133 M/km or $214 M/mi, LA – SF = $74 B, LA – NYC = $523 B. Some more: Boston – Atlanta – Miami: $333 B, Chicago – San Antonio: $225 B, San Diego – San Francisco – Seattle: $243 B. Total: $1.3 trillion.

    Someone responded that the Gotthard twin bores are 9.58 m across, and pointed to 2.23 m diameter for passengers, 3.3 m for freight in the Hyperloop. That seems like a very tight squeeze. I’ll compare to some common airliners, the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320.

    B737: fuselage width: 3.76m, cabin width: 3.54 m
    A320: fuselage width: 3.95m, cabin width: 3.70 m
    Both have about 11 – 12 cm wall thickness, and for the Hyperloop, one would need some additional space between the pod wall and the tunnel wall. That would give 1.8 m diameter for a passenger-only Hyperloop.

    For 3+3 seating, one needs 0.5 m width, while for 2 + 2 seating, one gets 0.7 m width. For an aisle and a single 0.5-m seat, one gets about 1 m width, and a height of 1.5 m — 5 ft. That’s awfully cramped, because most adult passengers would have to bend over to get into and out of the pod.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The theory is that making it cramped reduces tunneling cost exponentially because tunneling costs are partly proportional to Πr²

    [Reply]

    Loren Petrich Reply:

    That is, cross-section area.

    I decided to compare the proposed Hyperloop number with a typical compact car, the Honda Civic. Looking at its sedan (4-door) and coupe (2-door) models, I found a width of 1.8 m and a height of 1.4 m. That gives a tube diameter of 2.3 m. One can’t stand in it, and one can’t stand in most other cars, but that’s tolerable because the car’s doors are not far away. So will a Hyperloop pod need doors along its length?

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Loren, Actually, you can’t have Boston-Atlanta-Miami. You can have a pair of tubes between Boston and Atlanta and a pair between Atlanta and Miami and a pair between Boston and Miami which uses the same right-of-way as the other pairs, maybe even the same supports.

    But nobody has explained how you have an “in-line” station. The truth is that the pods will have to pass through an airlock at each end in order to maintain the hard vacuum needed for supersonic operation in the tubes.

    But more importantly, remember that a “through” pod following one that’s stopping at an intermediate station is still traveling at 600+ mph. Either it has to be brought to a halt or at a minimum slowed almost to a halt or it will smash into the leader. What that means is that any line with an intermediate station would operate like a Ferris wheel where the cars advance one separation at a time and all stop. Advance one separation and stop. Advance one separation and stop. Ad nauseum.

    Since a selling point is that the pods would be small in order to be light for quick acceleration, the only way to get capacity is to run loads of pods. But loads of pods makes the following distance close. Alas, a lack. A lack, that is, of viability.

    So in the Atlantic coast corridor, you’d need a pair of tubes from Boston to New York, a pair between Boston and Washingtonn, a pair between Boston and Richmond, Boston and Norfolk, Boston and Charlotte, Boston and Atlanta, Boston and Orlando, and Boston and Miami.

    Then you’d need a pair between New York and Washington, one between New York and Richmond, and so on until you get to the one between Orlando and Miami.

    That’s a lot of overhead tubes. A veritable department store’s worth.

    [Reply]

    Loren Petrich Reply:

    One can have inline stations the way that one does for high-speed-rail lines in general, with extra tracks along the sides of the main tracks. But that opens up an additional can of worms: doing switching. The tunnel would have to widened to allow a pod to be moved sideways in it as it travels. That would mean something like 3 times the original tunnel cross section.

    There is also the problem of starting and stopping. From the SpaceX Hyperloop site, I get a proposed top speed of 330 m/s. Accelerating at 1 m/s^2 (about 0.1 g), that’s a time of about 5 min, and a distance of 54 km. So over 100 km of the trip will be for accelerating and decelerating. That can be reduced with a higher acceleration. For 0.3 g’s, the time and the distance go down by a factor of 3.

    Also, 330 m/s = 1200 km/h = 740 mph. That means a NYC-LA travel time of 3.3 hours.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    A device such as this comes to mind:

    http://www.roi-sys.com/data/33/media_e503e1e9b8b35eea6323651106fe4be3.jpg

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    The switch would need to be miles long to keep the curve radius within acceptable lateral g-force limits at 740mph. Miles of pipe are going to weigh 100s of tons, so how can you move all that mass sideways 20 feet every 30 seconds with 0.000000% failure rate? (there is no time to stop the next pod if the switch gets stuck).
    The in-feasibility of a switch is the main reason that capsule-in-pipe transportation systems have never worked out.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Of course there will be time to stop the next pod if the switch gets stuck. This is fixed guideway transportation 101. And that is the fatal flaw of the hyperloop concept: it imagines away the fundamental principles of fixed guideway transportation, principles that are rooted in sound engineering and lots and lots of spilled blood.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “The Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart. Around that inflection point, I suspect that supersonic air travel ends up being faster and cheaper.”

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    I agree, the highly populous cities can’t be too close together, otherwise there would be limited door-to-door benefit from ultra high speed, and can’t be too far apart otherwise the cost of building the fixed guide-way would be prohibitive.

    The Venn diagram of cities that are neither too close nor too far is probably an empty set.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The Venn diagram of passing tracks, switches and intermediate stations is also an empty set.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    • 300 mph (480 kph) for the Los Angeles Grapevine South section at 0.5g.
    Total time of 167 seconds
    • 555 mph (890 kph) for the Los Angeles Grapevine North section at 0.5g.
    Total travel time of 435 seconds
    • 760 mph (1,220 kph ) along I-5 at 0.5g.
    Total travel time of 1,518 seconds
    • 555 mph (890 kph) along I-580 slowing to 300 mph (480 kph) into San Francisco.
    Total travel time of 2,134 seconds (35 minutes)

    [Reply]

  54. morris brown
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 02:57
    #54

    This is off topic but of general interest and another great article from Ralph Vartabedian. The article has a link to the 86 page Bea report, if you want some extra reading.

    LA Times: Serious design, construction and maintenance defects doomed Oroville Dam, report says

    [Reply]

  55. Roland
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 08:08
    #55

    Breaking News: Frying BART cars problem solved(?) http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/04/18/bart-mystery-zap-solution.html

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Interesting. So it wasn’t caused by any change made to the electrical system by BART, therefore the solution wasn’t to “simply” undo the change made in a sort of system restore, despite what all the armchair EEs were claiming.

    Also interesting is the fact that with the trains being upgraded with the new wheel profiles, that should reduce the need for rail grinding by a significant amount together with the likelihood of this problem occurring again.

    [Reply]

  56. JimInPollockPines
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 10:27
    #56

    Washington is useless. The other 49 states hate us. The republicans are downright hostile, and the dems can’t get their shit together. Please, all of should be supporting this https://californianational.party/en_US I already changed my registration. Its a long shot sure but if anyone can do it, californians can, and should. Its time. enough with the US and their bullshit

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    C-A-L-E-X-I-T. YES!!!

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Oh god no!!!

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting tee-shirts and posters. “Free the Bear”
    Always thought there should be similar items available for HSR and Public Transportation supporters.
    What does the California National Party say about HSR?

    [Reply]

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    lets see..

    1. Tried and failed resulting the worst war (for loss of US lives) in American history and the relegation of the failed rebels to 2nd class status for at least 50 years.

    2. No actual plan on how to deal with things like money, trade, foreign policy, etc. and therefore no way to tell if seperate is actually better than the union

    3. Funded and run by Russia

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article145095209.html

    4. Has failed to capture even a fraction of the voters needed to even put it on the ballot

    Way to pick a winner…

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “3. Funded and run by Russia”

    We will impeach and remove him.

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Perhaps. If we’re being purely political, it’s best to wail until 2019 (assuming a speaker Pelosi). (This is all assuming that if trump broke a law, Pence was involved.)

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Are you serious? Are you actually going to give up on the rest of the USA. We are stronger together (and ideally, add Canada into the mix too.) I don’t know about you, but I’m staying in the USA and fighting for a strong, optimistic, prosperous, global, neoliberal country, not going and hiding when something bad happens.

    [Reply]

  57. Roland
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 11:13
    #57

    Breaking News!!! https://sf.streetsblog.org/2017/04/17/did-some-political-pork-just-give-a-huge-boost-to-high-speed-rail/

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The Senate also approved SB496, a bill written by Cannella that shields architects, engineers and land surveyors from liability in certain circumstances.

    Cannella is vice president of NorthStar Engineering Group, which does engineering, design and survey work for public and private projects including a high school, police station and medical facility.

    Meanwhile, the only Democrat in the Assembly who voted against the deal was stripped of his position as the chairman of the Business and Professions Committee.
    https://www.apnews.com/1a7472a965614fd2a0e031a4e8fd0b8f/California-Senate-approves-projects-linked-to-gas-tax-hike

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Altamont lives! :-)

    Not so bad, actually. The problem that Republicans have as shown by ACA (Obamacare): Once people have it they won’t want to lose it and likely want to see it improved. The same will be true of HSR. Once people see how convenient it makes travel between SF and the Central Valley and Bakersfield, they’ll want it.

    [Reply]

    J. Wong Reply:

    Oops, that’s not @EJ, it was me.

    [Reply]

  58. agb5
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 13:25
    #58

    The court hearing into having the “injunction on spending bond funds” case thrown out has been rescheduled to the 26th.
    The court hearing into the “injunction on spending bond funds” case is still scheduled for tomorrow (19th).
    I’m not sure how that can work.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Maybe he decided and will reject the injunction April 19th. A decision would be **less** likely to be overturned on appeal than throwing the injunction of court. A ruling best resolves the issue for both parties.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @agb5 — others.

    The hearing on the Tos-2 case set for today, was reset to April 26th, 9:00 AM due to unavailability of the judge today.

    The hearing for tomorrow has also been reset to April 26th at 11:OO.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    Latest update on court hearing on Tos-2:

    This matter is CONTINUED to 4/26/2017 at 11:00 a.m., to be heard simultaneously
    with the demurrer and motion to strike which were scheduled for 4/18/2017 but now
    continued to 4/26/2017.

    [Reply]

  59. Jos Callinet
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 13:56
    #59

    NEWSFLASH! – AAF (All Aboard Florida), aka Brightline – has just announced it has made an abrupt 180-degree turn by deciding at the eleventh-and-a-half hour NOT to implement its plan to run its just-purchased fleet of five differently-colored trains from Miami to West Palm Beach and Orlando – they’ve suddenly caught an irresistibly powerful case of “Elon Musk Hyperloop Fever” and have therefore decided at the very last moment that it would be far more prudent to wait JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER until Musk’s nearly-perfected Hyperloop technology is released to the public.

    AAF’s sudden conversion to wholeheartedly embracing the Hyperloop stems from the practical reasoning, “Why build a land-line telephone network in 2017 when, at so much less expense, we can provide a cellphone service?” (No Wires = No Tracks and, therefore, by definition, No NIMBY interference!) Instead, AAF is to construct just one simple underground vacuum tube, out of sight and out of mind!

    The small detail of how Brightline plans to dispose of their five new train sets is next on their agenda. They’re hoping SOMEONE SOMEWHERE will be foolish enough to buy them.

    OOPS! Just woke up from my feverish tax-day nightmare!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly note that Elon Musk had NOTHING (AKA nada, zilch) to do with this fiasco: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-to-orlando-hyperloop-proposed-by-florida-department-of-transportation-officials-9261976

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    so this was a joke, right?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Just a Silicon Valley Unicorn playing the usual games to see if they can get a big fish to bite.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    When did this insanity of tunneling the hyper loop begin? Tunnels are THE MOST EXPENSIVE transportation infrastructure possible, save perhaps super-long suspension bridges. For God’s sake, Southern Florida is as flat as a billiard table. And the turnpike goes right to Orlsndo. If you must hyperloop, elevate the tubes.

    Remember that Florida is pretty much an ocean thirty feet below the surface.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Not from Elon: “The proposed route considers a combination of 20, 50, and 100 ft (6, 15, and 30 m, respectively) pylon heights to raise and lower the Hyperloop tube over geographical obstacles. A total tunnel length of 15.2 miles (24.5 km) has been included in this optimization where extreme local gradients (>6%) would preclude the use of pylons. Tunneling cost estimations are estimated at $50 million per mile ($31 million per km). The small diameter of the Hyperloop tube should keep tunneling costs to a far more reasonable level than traditional automotive and rail tunnels.”

    [Reply]

  60. Roland
    Apr 18th, 2017 at 18:50
    #60

    Breaking News: Cite du Garlique Intergalactica: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/Downtown_Gilroy_Station_Viaduct.pdf

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    – “Gilroy to SF in 40 minutes”
    – “Bakersfield to San Jose is fully FUNDED” The flyer says “$20.9B fully FUNDABLE”
    – “We have 130 miles under CONSTRUCTION” (how about under CONTRACT?)
    – “We will be crossing at faults underground in a reinforced tube chamber. We will be using the latest technology that allow you to do that”

    And live from Gilroy it is Tuesday Night live!!!

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “Bakersfield to San Jose is fully FUNDED”
    Forgot to ask if that included all of the tracks? And all of the electrification??
    And does that include the trains? And the Maintenance Facility?

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    What does fully mean to you?

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    For the rest of the documents see “Community Open House Meetings – April/May 2017” section of the San Jose-Merced Project Section: http://hsr.ca.gov/Programs/Statewide_Rail_Modernization/Project_Sections/sanjose_merced.html

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    For Gallery HSR station, I prefer the “embankment” design: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/Downtown_Gilroy_Station_Embankment.pdf

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Un talus au milieu de la ville, un!!!

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Wise choice. The embankment downtown station is the initial Gilroy recommendation to HSR. It also grade separates the UP ROW.

    More recently the City Committee has raised additional questions about the alignment, such as sound walls and noise at 150+ MPH. These unknowns and concerns may alter the location to the greenfield, NE between the Leavesley 101 Exit and future Buena Vista 101 entrance just north.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Why leave everything as is when you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to cut downtown Garlicville in half and turn it into another downtown Detroit when trains start blasting through it @ 150 MPH?

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The tracks have been there since there was a downtown. Something that has always been in two parts can’t be cut in half.

    In 1876

    http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/19859/Gilroy+City/Santa+Clara+County+1876/California/

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    What a persistent Dumbass.

    Currently the tracks do not divide the town.
    In fact downtown is west of then tracks.

    [Reply]

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If downtown is all on one side of the tracks new tracks won’t be cutting it in half.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    What a persistent Dumbass.

    Kindly help me understand which part of “Currently the tracks do not divide the town.” it is that you do not understand.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    “Why leave everything as is when you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to cut downtown Garlicville”

    Classic Roland. A perfect combination of mockery with a misfire.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    all of you have to have a conference and decide if the tracks cut downtown in half or they don’t.

    Roland Reply:

    Having a conference with Joe is an oxymoron.

    Joe Reply:

    The tracks don’t bisect downtown nor does a HSR downtown alignment.
    Roland’s mockery is wrong.

    Eric M Reply:

    And they sure are showing a lot of viaduct miles between SJ and Gilroy. That sure is a lot $$$ on concrete

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Par-Tay, J-O-B-S!!!

    [Reply]

    William Reply:

    Alternative 1 is mostly viaduct between San Jose and Gilroy: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/Morgan_Hill_to_Gilroy_Alternative1.pdf

    Alternative 2 is mostly at-grade: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/Morgan_Hill_to_Gilroy_Alternative2.pdf

    At-grade might be cheaper, but viaduct avoids most local road disruptions.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    FWIW, Local roads were disrupted when HW 101 was built. From Leavesley N to Masten, all roads deadend, at 101.

    Running HSR on a berm along the UP ROW isn’t going to be that much more disruptive. Rucker Ave is a Gilroy elementary school accessible via Monterey Ave on Rucker or via Masten, a HW exit/overpass road.

    Gilroy will add an exit/on ramp for the Buena Vista over pass, between Masten and Leavesley, which would need grade separation.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Direct link: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ourhsrsouthbay/conversations/messages/652

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    I really don’t see the reasoning to keep following highway 152 if they are going to just tunnel the whole way under Pacheco pass with a 13.5 mile long tunnel (Unless that is just an alternative they are illustrating) The terrain a few miles south of 152 south looks like it could accommodate less tunneling and more surface roadbed.

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    And they sure are showing a lot of viaduct miles between SJ and Gilroy. That sure is a lot $$$ on concrete

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Par-Tay, J-O-B-S!!!

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    That would be Panoche (not Pacheco) Pass which happens to be a straight shot at Fresno :-)

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Preliminary Pacheco Pass plans from 2010 show a lot more on the surface and less tunneling. A single long tunnel would be straighter and have a more constant gradient which could enable higher train speeds. It would be interesting to have a side view showing the elevation profile.
    Following the highway gives them intermediate access points to launch multiple boring machines which could be quicker and less expensive than boring one 13 mile long tunnel.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    “It would be interesting to have a side view showing the elevation profile”.

    Indeed it would and the reason there is none is that none of these clowns have a clue where/how to get started (Lucy Wu (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/bizwomen/wotm/5843582/Lucy_Wu) lasted less than 10 months) let alone how they are going to pay for it, hence the “temporary” “light” Gilroy “maintenance facility” and a handful of diesel locos in case they have to push Rapid Rail over the Altamont Pass for “heavy” maintenance in Fresno.

    Are we having fun yet?

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Plans today would reflect a low cost approach for proposes of keeping the cost estimate under control.

    Contractors have better insight into tunneling reqs and capabilities that the Authority. With Design Build, engineering a tunneling trade off between cost and operation should be included with Construction Package Proposals.

    Previously the Authority estimated bore sizes were larger than necessary and when rightsized, cut tunneling costs. I am pretty sure the same errors were made during the 2010 estimates thus the tunneling would have been minimized.

    [Reply]

  61. Roland
    Apr 19th, 2017 at 02:14
    #61

    Breaking News: Following the minor fracas over the HS2 CEO awarding an HS2 contract to his former CH2M chums, the award goes to the next bidder: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bechtel-replaces-ch2m-on-hs2-second-phase

    Am I the only one wishing that someone had challenged Morales when he awarded the juicy $700M RDP contract to his old PB pals?

    [Reply]

  62. les
    Apr 19th, 2017 at 07:34
    #62

    “But maybe Denham will see a lesson. The ACE train will go to Ceres and head to Merced. As it now stands, there won’t be a stop in Turlock.”

    http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article143388549.html

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    That’s simply not true. There’s a Turlock stop on the extension map: http://www.acerail.com/About/Public-Projects/ACEforward

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    eventually Turlock, but not part of this 400 million.

    “The rail plan calls for an expansion of ACE from Lathrop to Modesto and Ceres by no later than 2023. The extension to Merced by 2027 will include stations in Turlock, Livingston or Atwater and ultimately Merced, said Dan Leavitt, manager of regional initiatives for the rail commission.”

    http://www.modbee.com/news/article143261584.html

    [Reply]

    Jon Reply:

    The article text “The ACE train will go to Ceres and head to Merced. As it now stands, there won’t be a stop in Turlock.” is extremely misleading. If the train goes to Merced, it will stop in Turlock on the way there.

    Another twist is that Ceres was originally part of the phase 2 extension to Merced, but the statement from Dan Leavitt implies that it’s now part of the phase 1 extension, originally planned to terminate in Modesto. Did ACE ageee to extend phase 1 another four miles to Ceres in order to satisfy Cannella’a desire for a station in his hometown? That would be the ultimate in pork-barrel politics.

    [Reply]

  63. joe
    Apr 19th, 2017 at 22:32
    #63

    California’s state treasurer is selling about $1.25 billion in high-speed rail bonds despite an ongoing legal challenge to the project.

    Deputy Treasurer Tim Schaefer said Wednesday that the bonds will be issued on Thursday even though the lawsuit isn’t resolved.

    A Sacramento County Superior Court judge postponed until next week a hearing on opponents’ latest attempt to derail the $64 billion bullet train.

    Opponents’ attorney, Stuart Flashman, says it won’t matter that the bonds are sold because the lawsuit aims to block the state from spending whatever money is raised from the nearly $10 billion in bonds that voters approved in 2008.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-04-19/california-sells-high-speed-rail-bonds-despite-lawsuit

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Yay! What specifically will this 1.25 billion be funding?

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    I think this is CA matching funds for the Federal HSR funding the GOP/Republican Party wants to claw back, but can’t do.

    Boo hoo hoo, to the GOP/Republican Party… /s

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Incorrect: they have to match the $2B they have pissed away so far before the Feds will let them touch the last $900M.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    i’m guessing trainset and track/electrification(CP-5).

    [Reply]

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Makes sense. So no wye/Pacheco stuff yet?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    I think that will be late 2017 or early 2018. They need get train order out because of the 5 year delivery window.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Pacheco tunneling, is long term, complex and costly. It’s got to be on the critical path so that construction segment will be bid sooner than later.

    Pacheco will be balanced with the political advantages of getting something useable built and in the CV connecting to Amtrak for Bay Area trips.

    Since CA is paying, I think getting something working sooner takes precedent.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Still need route decisions and environmental clearances which goes on into 2018. And then more lawsuits.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    EIRs are pretty standard as are the routine lawsuits. Previously these lawsuits were high risk delays dfor a project with a $$$ time constraint. That’s over now.

    Jeff oversaw Prop1a lawsuits, planning for cap and trade and the ARRA deadline.

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    Final EIR/EIS with Response to Comments 2018 for San Jose to Merced Project Section

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanJose_Merced/SJ_to_Merced_Factsheet.pdf

    agb5 Reply:

    Flashman initially filed a restraining order to prevent funds being spent, but CAHSR convinced the court that the bonds would not be sold before the injunction case was heard. Now the injunction case has been delayed because the judge was not available, so there is a window for the Authority to spend the money before the injunction case is heard.

    Flashman insists that any bond money the Authority spends on an “illegal” plan must be returned to the treasury, but the Authority claims there is no legal precedent for such a thing.

    Plaintiff seeks recovery of monies that have been spent, i.e., “[for recovery and restoration to the Califomia State Treasury of any funds [the Authority] has illegally, improperly or wastefully spent” in preparing, approving or implementing “improper/noncomphant Funding Plans.”

    The request suffers from multiple fatal defects.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    I’ve noted Morris hasn’t been posting his usual “illegal”, “unconstitutional” bravado.

    Generally, as a litigator, Flashman seems strategically rudderless and relied mostly on a narrow, contradictory reading of Prop1a and court filings show little precedent for his interpretations.

    The 2008 litigation strategy was to delay and discourage the project because of unique funding requirements and deadlines but the Gov has been firm and the Authority has overcome each and every obstacle.

    Accessing Prop1a money is a significant milestone. I don’t see how critics can continue once bonds are sold. ARRA money will be spent and the ticky tack lawsuits over compliance and definitions will serve no strategic purpose.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    The lawsuit will be heard on April 26th, now set for 11:00 AM. The complaint never claimed we could stop the issuing of the bonds. It must be understood that Prop 1A can only prevent the expenditure of the funds from the sale of these bonds, and that is the injunction that is being sought.

    When a Judge rules AB-1889 (Mullin) is UN-constitutional, then surely the funding plans are illegal and any Prop 1A bond funds will not be able to be spent.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    Except that you have not been able to come up with a credible legal explanation of why you will suffer “irreparable harm”, so the judge could decide by 9:30AM to dismiss the case.

    The previous central valley funding plan was already validated as legal before AB-1889.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    disagree with Morris is not being wrong.

    It’s
    Unconstitutional
    Illegal
    CAPS LOCK
    and you are called ignorant.

    Look up his assurances cap and trade was unconstitutional.
    Three Judges Unanimously found it both legal and not a tax.

    [Reply]

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Joe

    The ruling on Cap and Trade by the appeals court was NOT unanimous. It was a 2-1 ruling.
    Quit your usual BS and write some truth.

    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/california-s-cap-and-trade-program-upheld-california-court-appeal

    I have not yet heard as to whether it will go to the State Supreme Court.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Oh, so 2-1 ruling upholded cap and trade as not a Tax.

    So you tell us cap and trade is unconstitutional, an illegal tax yet it was passed by the Leglislature, reviewed by the State AG, up held by a judge and now upheld by appeal.

    When will you stop The BS and apologize for being wrong and wasting everyone time?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Good question: When will YOU stop The BS and apologize for being wrong and wasting everyone’s time?

    [Reply]

  64. morris brown
    Apr 20th, 2017 at 05:53
    #64

    SM Daily Journal: County’s top transit official now earns nearly $500,000: Caltrain, TA, SamTrans leader Jim Hartnett receives raise, bonus with other benefits

    See also:

    https://www.almanacnews.com/square/2017/04/19/caltrain-ceo-jim-hartnett-awarded-big-salary-increase

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The $50K bonus was for the CBOSS and FFGA successes.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s think positive: this could just be a golden parachute(?):
    http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2017-04-20/countys-top-transit-official-now-earns-nearly-500000-caltrain-ta-samtrans-leader-jim-hartnett-receives-raise-bonus-with-other-benefits/1776425179050.html

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The article forgot the $100K company car and the monthly $250 deluxe “detail” (including $100 tip).

    [Reply]

  65. morris brown
    Apr 20th, 2017 at 06:15
    #65

    Fox and Hounds: Caltrain Electrification is an Expensive Disaster

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    In homage to a popular song, “Who the fuck is “Fox and Hounds”? A red coated hunters’ mag?

    And dude, it’s bad form to link your own effyouseeking story. It’s like up voting yourself. You look desperate.

    [Reply]

  66. morris brown
    Apr 20th, 2017 at 10:26
    #66

    The Daily POst has a front page article on Hartnett’s salary and bonus. The Post is not on the internet so I copy the text here.

    Attached and text copied below is what the Daily Post printed today regarding Jim Harnett’s Salary

    morris

    ————-

    Daily Post 4/20/2017 Front page

    Caltrain boss gets $50,000 bonus

    BY EMILY MIBACH

    Jim Hartnett, the head of Caltrain,
    SamTrans and the San Mateo
    County Transportation Authority,
    has landed a $50,000 bonus and
    a 3.5% raise, which will boost his
    pay this year to $522,340.
    Hartnett received the bonus and
    raise despite a lawsuit filed against
    Caltrain in March by a contractor
    on a federally-mandated safety
    project who claims it was unable
    to get its job done because of disarray
    and confusion at the railroad.
    Caltrain has put the blame on the
    contractor, Parsons Transportation
    Group, saying in a separate lawsuit
    that the company is responsible for
    missing deadlines to complete the
    $231 million safety project known
    as Positive Train Control that’s intended
    to prevent crashes and derailments.
    However, Hartnett received the
    $50,000 bonus for his “outstanding”
    job performance, according
    to SamTrans documents, upping
    his total compensation from
    $472,340.67 to $522,340.67.
    Hartnett’s job performance goals
    included “the need to continue progress on all of the
    district’s major priorities,” said San Mateo County
    Transit District spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew.
    Those priorities included Caltrain installing Positive
    Train Control. Caltrain initially said it would be completed
    by 2015. That date was pushed back to 2016.
    Then it was reset to 2017. Now Caltrain says it hopes
    to have the project done by the deadline set by Congress,
    Dec. 31, 2018.

    Adding it up

    Here’s how Hartnett’s pay breaks down:
    • His base salary of $271,574 was increased 3.5%
    to $281,051.
    • He also gets $80,000 for heading Caltrain, which
    was raised to $85,000.
    • He gets a $25,000 stipend for heading the Transit
    Authority, an agency that collects a transportation
    sales tax and doles it out for road and mass transit
    projects.
    The sum of those three items is $391,051. But
    that’s not all.
    He gets $12,208 in health, dental and vision benefi
    ts and $69,081 that is put into a deferred compensation
    account, somewhat similar to a 401(k) that he
    can draw upon at a later time.
    Now we’re up to $472,340. Add on to that a
    $50,000 bonus, and his total compensation package
    for 2017 comes in at $522,340.
    The increases and bonus were approved by the San
    Mateo County Transit District board of directors at an
    April 5 meeting.

    Hired in 2015

    Hartnett has been in the job about two years. He
    previously served on the California High-Speed Rail
    Authority board. Earlier, he was on the Redwood City
    Council, and in that capacity sat on the Caltrain and
    SamTrans boards, the very bodies that gave him the
    raise and bonus. His employment contract expires on
    March 30, 2022.
    Hartnett is among the highest-paid public offi cials
    in the county. County Manager John Maltbie gets a
    base salary of $419,356, but with benefi ts his total
    compensation reached $589,242 last year.

    The Post wanted to talk to the board members who
    approved Hartnett’s raise and bonus to get their explanation.
    But County Supervisor Dave Pine, Redwood
    City Councilman Jeff Gee and Burlingame resident
    Rose Guilbault didn’t return the paper’s calls.

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    Hartnett received the bonus and raise despite a lawsuit filed against Caltrain in March by a contractor on a federally-mandated safety project who claims it was unable to get its job done because of disarray and confusion at the railroad.

    It’s almost as if the agency doesn’t think that the contractor’s claims have any merit… Oh wait:

    Caltrain has put the blame on the contractor, Parsons Transportation Group, saying in a separate lawsuit that the company is responsible for missing deadlines to complete the $231 million safety project known as Positive Train Control that’s intended to prevent crashes and derailments.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Morris can commission a Warren Report to document mismanagement.

    Critics can pull up the CBOSS Contractor reports and note every instance where the diligent Contractor warned about impacts due to Caltrain disarray and confusion. Also note when and where warned about technical problems, slippage and forecast budget overruns with CBOSS.

    Electrification and CBOSS is a high profile, big stakes Federal and State project. Caltrain has to defend itself from accusations of mismanagement. Caltrain will litigate aggressively.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Wait until the Daily Post and the Daily Journal find out that Roseanne Foust celebrated Jimbo’s recently well-earned pay raise by inviting his buddies to a celebration party at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course: https://twitter.com/search?q=place%3A07d9e39533886000.

    “Nestled in 22 acres of soaring Monterey Pines, the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course is a destination hotel providing the most discerning traveler with the quintessential Monterey experience. Its Central California Coast location offers guest close proximity to downtown Monterey, Monterey Airport and easy access to some of the Peninsula’s most well-known attractions.”
    https://monterey.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html

    [Reply]

  67. StevieB
    Apr 20th, 2017 at 17:28
    #67

    Trump Can’t Stop California Bullet Train Paid With Bond Sale

    California isn’t letting litigation or Donald Trump stand in the way of one of the most expensive and controversial projects in the U.S.

    The state on Thursday sold $1.25 billion in taxable bonds to finance a $64 billion high-speed rail system, the first debt issue for construction since voters approved it nearly a decade ago. The offering marks a show of faith from officials that the project will proceed despite a lawsuit from a county and farmer opposed to it and roadblocks from the Trump administration, which has delayed a grant that would have benefited the bullet train running from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area.

    The general-obligation debt, backed by California’s full faith and credit, isn’t dependent on the success of the project, the first publicly financed U.S. high-speed rail line. Lack of federal support would push more of the burden on Californians to finance the project, which Democratic Governor Jerry Brown says will transform the traffic-choked state by increasing access to affordable housing and boosting local economies.

    “California can well afford it, and it will make our state a much better place,” he said in February

    [Reply]

    Eric M Reply:

    And yet, he has never said he was going to stop it. Nice spin

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Well, he’s irrelevant to CA HSR. I guess that’s the point.

    [Reply]

    agb5 Reply:

    If by “he” you mean President Trump, he has repeatedly pledged to zero out New Starts and TIGER grants. But Joe is right. Without Federal help it will take longer to get to Orange County and San Diego, but that’s karmic ally satisfying

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    Why do you want to punish OC and SD?

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Why is karma punishment?

    CA HSR is being built with money and direction from the CA Legislature.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Yep, just like the $2B ARRA money they pissed up front.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    LOL
    You warned them and the Authority ignored you. Now it’s on … like Donkey Kong.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Warned them about what?

    [Reply]

  68. Reality Check
    Apr 21st, 2017 at 14:48
    #68

    SF Chronicle:
    Head of California high-speed rail project calls it quits

    Fresno Bee:
    Big change in high-speed rail: CEO steps down, says new leader needed

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Looks like Jeff Morales made his 20 gazillionth dollar revolving the HSR door of fortune.

    Roland, plea check if he’s on Forbes Richest 100 list.
    Morris, quick before it’s encrypted, FOIA his Rolodex.

    [Reply]

    Edward Reply:

    plea check

    I like it.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    The new Chief Executive will be appointed by the Board on Monday May 1st in San Francisco:
    http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2017/brdmtg_050117_Board_Meeting_Agenda.pdf

    [Reply]

  69. Joe
    Apr 21st, 2017 at 22:05
    #69

    LATImes writes about the HSR Project Milestone, selling bonds.

    Khitan General: Conan, what is best in life?

    Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!

    LATimes Ralph Vantabedian’s lamentation at the link.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-bond-sale-20170420-story.html

    [Reply]

  70. Roland
    Apr 21st, 2017 at 22:06
    #70

    Can someone please brief Senator Feinstein (and my friend Carl)?
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Feinstein-urges-help-from-Silicon-Valley-on-11090631.php

    [Reply]

    Ben in SF Reply:

    You seem to be in the best position to do that.

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    With apologies to Ben in SF, that last snide remark was mine.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    You could just email them this link: http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2017/04/core-capacity-math.html

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Considering the questions and concerns about all of the math in CalTrain’s Federal application for money, does that mean CalTrain will have to submit a new application with new improved math????

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    No. The Feds have not raised capacity as an issue as noted in Clem’s assessment.

    Morris Brown and other citizen gadflies complained. They are pounding sand.

    The basic complain is bureaucratic – Caltrain’s FRA classification doesn’t count standing capacity but for BART, standing capacity counts.

    Who wants to “fight on that hill” with Morris and Warren?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    When will you stop The BS and apologize for being wrong and wasting everyone’s time?

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Yes and that will start with a new RFP that ends up producing a train that has a single set of doors and the 948 seats in the 2012 blended operations analysis: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Documents/Final-Caltrain-California+HSR+Blended+Operations+Analysis.pdf

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Add option cars! Price already under contract. There will be no new RFP.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    1) There is no money.
    2) There is no need for another set of doors.
    3) There is no way an 8-car KISS could handle Caltrain’s present or future capacity needs, even with a single set of doors (50 seats short of a 6-car Bombardier set).
    4) There is no way to convert a KISS into a bi-mode.
    5) Contracts will be cancelled by June 30th (if not sooner) at which point some entity other than LTK/ SamTrans will issue an RFP based on Caltrain’s actual capacity needs.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    HSR has all the money honey.

    That means HSR compatibility is essential: KISS, dual doors, more cars, and of course no other bids were submitted.

    Game over baby.

    Roland Reply:

    When will you stop The BS and apologize for being wrong and wasting everyone’s time?

    J. Wong Reply:

    Breaking news!

    @Roland

    Pot calls kettle black!

    Clem Reply:

    [Clem here, not Ben]

    There is no money? Then there is no money for a new RFP, is there? The reason for the lack of money is the Republican scorched-earth opposition to HSR, and not any real or perceived non-compliance with FTA rules; indeed, FTA staff itself recommended the grant to Caltrain. Imagine for a moment that Caltrain still met every requirement for the FTA core capacity grant; do you think that would immediately unlock the money? Of course not! You’ve ascribed the wrong cause to the observed effect.

    I’ll predict what will happen June 30th: you will find another technicality and select another future milestone to hang on to, in your perpetual prediction of the imminent hybrid Omneo rapture. This isn’t a matter of politics or engineering, it is blind religious faith.

    joe Reply:

    Game on!

    Roland Reply:

    There is $800M left in the kitty even after the $200M SamTrans have pissed away so far, which is more than enough to replace the ENTIRE fleet with 8-car bimode EMUS with 950 seats and 3 bathrooms (and a new south San Jose maintenance facility) :-)

    R.I.P CalFranKISSentrain!!!

    Clem Reply:

    What kitty? You think prop 1A should pay for DMUs?

    Roland Reply:

    No.

    1) There is “only” a $1.25B hole ($600M Prop1A +$647M FFGA) leaving +/- $800M.
    2) Do you understand the subtle difference between a DMU and a bi-mode EMU?

    Clem Reply:

    2) there is absolutely none, absent electrification, which won’t happen with your $1.25B hole.

    Roland Reply:

    I had no idea a DMU could get to Transbay without the Caltrain “electrification” boondoggle.

    Clem Reply:

    Did you just allude to another $3.9B hole, in addition to your $1.25B hole?

    If you had $3.9B to build the DTX, you’d be rich enough to electrify all the way. Your hybrid bi-mode EMU is caught up somewhere in that Catch-22.

    Roland Reply:

    In case you had no heard, the new POTUS is challenging all of us to become smarter with the way we spend our transportation dollars, so it is not unreasonable to expect the $3.9B DTX funding gap to shrink to less than $1B in the not too distant future.

    Roland Reply:

    Breaking News: Greencaltrain announces the demise of the CalFranKISSentrain: http://www.greencaltrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/no-electric1.png

    Joey Reply:

    The article Roland is referring to without context:

    Trump admin will consider new transit projects through September; Caltrain funding still in doubt

    Not really anything new there.

    Jon Reply:

    “In case you had no heard, the new POTUS is challenging all of us to become smarter with the way we spend our transportation dollars, so it is not unreasonable to expect the $3.9B DTX funding gap to shrink to less than $1B in the not too distant future.”

    That is the biggest pile of horseshit I have ever heard. How do you think Trump is going to close the $3.9bn funding gap to $2.9bn? Do you think he’s going to magically find $2.9bn of cost savings with his mad business skillz, or do you think he’s going to decide that even though his administration pulled $647m for HSR-compatible Caltrain electrification, throwing $2.9bn at the HSR-compatible Caltrain Downtown Extension is A-OK?

    Roland Reply:

    Necessity is the mother of invention and no, I had no idea that the 79 MPH Caltrain “electrification” boondoggle was “HSR-compatible”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Roland, most any electrified standard gauge track is HSR compatible.

    Roland Reply:

    Why are they going to upgrade all the switches if they already are “HSR-compatible”?

    Jon Reply:

    What makes you think that Trump considers the DTX a “necessity”?

    Ben Pease Reply:

    Apology accepted. You are my better half. I don’t personally see the sense in briefing Sen. Feinstein about her own press conference, but I’m not a brilliant thinker.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Correct self-assessment & happy marriage thereafter.

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    “Feinstein also voiced support for a second Transbay Tube and the extension of BART from the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose, which it’s supposed to reach by the end of the year, to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara.
    Feinstein bemoaned her 1979 decision not to support a Southern Crossing bridge across the bay and said the region shouldn’t make the same mistake with a second transbay rail tube.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like APTA and the Washington Times also need briefing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/though-shovels-are-ready-trump-officials-delay-grant-for-caltrain-upgrade/2017/04/22/013ee458-160c-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    The Washington Post, a respected publication that has far more subscribers than your newsletter.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    More subscribers than his one? http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/. Pas possible!

    [Reply]

    Clem Reply:

    Stick to your own briefing materials please!

    As a diesel MU aficionado you’ll never be able to make the case for electrification.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    What briefing materials?
    On a related note, I would appreciate if you could stick to the facts, thank you.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Clem: “Stick to your own briefing materials please.”
    Roland: “I would appreciate it if you could stick to the facts, thank you.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    When will you stop The BS and apologize for being wrong and wasting everyone’s time?

    [Reply]

    EJ Reply:

    It is an interesting question whether you or Joe are more full of shit.

    Roland Reply:

    You are so full of it you will never know the answer.

    EJ Reply:

    Nah, I’m a pretty bright guy. It is kind of funny watching you flail around when you’re asked to make any sort of coherent point.

    Roland Reply:

    This is the point when an intelligent adult would make an argument as to why Caltrain rolling stock needs to go to 3.2 m wide. How about you give that a shot?

    EJ Reply:

    Ah yes, repeating back what your interlocutor said, the brilliant rhetorical strategy of an overtired 5-year old. It’s kind of funny you’d bring this up, since you never have come up with a coherent rebuttal to Clem’s proposal for 3.2 m wide Caltrain stock. Instead it’s just one childish tantrum after another.

    Roland Reply:

    Ah yes, repeating back what your interlocutor said, the brilliant rhetorical strategy of an overtired 5-year old. It’s kind of funny you’d bring this up, since you never have come up with a coherent rebuttal to my proposal for 3.0 m wide Caltrain stock. Instead it’s just one childish tantrum after another.

  71. les
    Apr 22nd, 2017 at 10:56
    #71

    Incoming, incoming…republicans approve spending for the study of HSR in Wa St.

    “The appropriations in this section are subject to the following conditions and limitations: $300,000 of the multimodal transportation account—state appropriation is provided solely for a consultant study of ultra high-speed ground transportation. “Ultra high-speed” means two hundred fifty miles per hour or more. The study must identify the costs and benefits of ultra high-speed ground transportation along a north-south alignment in Washington state.”
    http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Htm/Amendments/Senate/5096.E%20AMC%20CONF%20H2715.4.htm

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Neat way to eliminate “HSR” from consideration.

    [Reply]

    Edward Reply:

    From the “California High-Speed Train Project Design Criteria”, all 1279 pages of it:

    “A design speed of 250 mph where cost-effective and where topographic, geometric, operational,
    and environmental conditions permit. The design shall allow for sustained operating speed of
    220 mph.”

    So I suppose it depends how you interpret it…

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    “’Ultra high-speed’ means two hundred fifty miles per hour or more.”

    This smells of Hyper-Loop.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Or a 300 MPH school bus: https://youtu.be/fg3-h4Tm1z4?t=202

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    You got a think that with supporters like Gates, Bezos, Allen and etc they’re gonna push for something more along the line of maglev then brightline.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Self driving cars real-soon-now is the excuse to cut public transit.
    “Why invest when we will soon all be driven everywhere by our car?”

    Hyperloop maglev is the excuse to stop HSR.
    “Why build 1900 century rail when we have have future tubes?”

    Requiring 250+ MPH is the highest end, cost to build and operate, for HSR options. Even at 250+, capacity limitations with alternatives will favor rail. It will just cost more than a high way lane.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Are Gates and Bezos behind this study?

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    “The dream was revived last September at the Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Vancouver that discussed the idea. Attendees included Inslee, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark”
    http://crosscut.com/2017/02/seattle-to-vancouver-in-an-hour-is-that-our-future/

    [Reply]

    les Reply:

    he is the only reason republicans went along.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    We shall see –

    The study strikes me as a desire to build an elite, future proof system for 2050 rather than a system for the general public with proven tech.

    Apple Campus of the future with self driving cars vs more office space with better mass transit access.

    [Reply]

  72. Roland
    Apr 22nd, 2017 at 11:47
    #72

    Sac State needs donations: “If they have the funding they need, I would not be surprised if our Hyperloop team wins it all,” http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article145720859.html

    [Reply]

  73. les
    Apr 22nd, 2017 at 12:04
    #73

    April is the month new Obama(Siemens) locos are arriving en masse (minus Florida of course)

    Construction of the initial multi-state group of locomotives is complete– watch a video of the engine installation here — with WSDOT’s scheduled to arrive in spring 2017 after initial testing.

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/n-america/single-view/view/capitol-corridor-charger-unveiled.html

    http://www4.illinois.gov/PressReleases/PressReleasesListShow.cfm?RecNum=14142&RecNum=14142
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Rail/newlocomotives/

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    Good info. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    Still no news on the bilevel railcars though. N-S better hope that their redesign makes compliance.

    [Reply]

  74. agb5
    Apr 22nd, 2017 at 14:40
    #74

    New photos of central valley segment construction
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hsrcagov/

    [Reply]

  75. Roland
    Apr 22nd, 2017 at 19:04
    #75
  76. Reality Check
    Apr 23rd, 2017 at 06:39
    #76

    Ex-Hawaaii Gov. to Trump: Honolulu stilt-a-rail doesn’t deserve another dollar from feds

    Former Gov. Ben Cayetano is urging President Donald Trump to cut funding for Honolulu’s embattled rail project, arguing that cost estimates are the some of the highest in the world.

    In a full-page ad in Friday’s Washington Post, Cayetano sharply criticized the project, saying: “Honolulu’s rail project does not deserve a single dollar from the federal government.”

    In the ad, Cayetano introduced himself as a lifelong Democrat who opposed Trump’s candidacy, but said he agrees with him when it comes to “scrutinizing wasteful spending on pork barrel projects.”

    “It is the most mismanaged project I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It’s obsolete. I think in ten years. You might even consider tearing it down.”

    Cayetano said the Federal Transit Administration should terminate the Full Funding Grant Agreement with the City and County of Honolulu and use the remaining $800 million designated for the project on a “worthy transit project.”

    Political experts say the tactic could work if the president wants to punish Hawaii.

    “It gives the Republican Trump Administration an excuse of what it already would like to do,” said University of Hawaii Political Science Professor Colin Moore. “The Trump administration is known to be vindictive and Hawaii has been in the news lately opposing President Trump’s executive order on immigration … and this follows on the heels of Jeff Sessions comments that were criticized by our congressional leadership.”

    The ad comes as rail leaders are preparing a recovery plan for the FTA in order to secure more funding for the project. That’s due at the end of April.

    It also comes as Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced he is introducing a bill to the City Council to extend the rail tax surcharge beyond 2027. At the bare minimum, Caldwell said the general excise tax needs to be extended to 2037 or there will be increases in property taxes and cuts to city services.

    Estimates for rail’s costs have ballooned from a little more than $5.2 billion in 2014 to as much as $10 billion with interest, according to more recent figures.

    […]

    [Reply]

    Reality Check Reply:

    Ben Cayetano’s anti-Honolulu rail FFGA ad in Washington Post

    [Reply]

  77. Reality Check
    Apr 23rd, 2017 at 06:54
    #77

    Though shovels are ready, Trump officials delay grant for Caltrain upgrade

    For Caltrain general manager and chief executive Jim Hartnett, whose company started planning for the upgrade in the late 1990s, the delay is disheartening. The project, which would finance a switch from diesel engines to high-performance electric commuter rail trains, has already received $73 million in federal appropriations but cannot tap the cash without the Transportation Department’s approval.

    “We are more than shovel-ready,” Hartnett said. “Our shovel is in the ground and ready to turn.”

    At Caltrain’s San Jose Diridon Station last month, company officials pointed out the signs of wear and tear on a railway system that was inaugurated during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

    More than two-thirds of its locomotives date to 1985; more than half of its passenger trains are that old. There is no diagnostic software. “When something goes wrong, we put in a part and hope for the best,” said Caltrain’s director of rail operations, Joe Navarro.

    A few weeks ago, half of the red-and-silver Caltrain signs started peeling off the side of a passenger car at the South San Francisco stop, prompting a half-hour delay. Doing a “midlife” overhaul, which extends a locomotive or passenger car’s life by an additional decade, costs $2.2 million per locomotive and $1.5 million per car.

    “We’re the second-oldest railroad west of the Mississippi, and we have advanced that far beyond the steam engine,” Navarro said. “We’re running diesel.”

    Caltrain first contemplated an electric rail line two decades ago, but the idea has taken on new urgency as Silicon Valley has boomed and ridership has doubled since 2005.

    Officials approached the FTA about the project in 2001, while also tapping local funding sources, including money approved by Proposition 1A, a 2008 ballot measure intended to connect transit projects to the state’s planned high-speed rail system.

    This annoyed Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who chairs a key House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. Denham has lobbied Chao to deny the grant because the new Caltrain cars would run slower than 220 mph [WTF!?], the rate that defines high-speed rail. He urged California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to find a different source of state financing for Caltrain and then reapply for the federal money.

    “I am supportive of Caltrain and the electrification project, but they have to be funded the right way,” Denham said. “I would expect any new administration to fund what their new transportation policy is going to be and what their priorities are.”

    Brown, who met with Chao last month to discuss the grant, said of Denham in a phone interview: “That’s called blackmail.”

    Californians “voted for a bond issue” for high-speed rail “but envisioned other projects” using the cash, the governor said. “To go against it is the rawest, stupidest form of politics.”

    […]

    [Reply]

    Aarond Reply:

    The transition from “we don’t want HSR” to “we want HSR done right” is lousy and doesn’t even satisfy true HSR opponents. It’s last ditch maneuvering before it gets built and proves all them wrong.

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Agreed Aarond, 100%.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Jeff Denham held townhall meetings on ACE commuter rail to San Jose.

    Brown nailed it here:

    Californians “voted for a bond issue” for high-speed rail “but envisioned other projects” using the cash, the governor said. “To go against it is the rawest, stupidest form of politics.”

    And there’s this:

    EDITORIAL: Denham betrays the Valley
    Fresno

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    Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, has two remarkable accomplishments since being named chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee that oversees the nation’s railways.
    First is a pet project. He introduced the Pets on Trains Act of 2013, a.k.a. the Lily Denham Act, that would require Amtrak to allow passengers to travel with cats and dogs. “My dog, Lily, is part of our family and travels with us to and from California all the time,”

    Second is his effort to earn status as an honorary member of Congress from the East Coast. At a June 6 field hearing in New York City, Denham went out of his way to ingratiate himself with advocates of the Northeast Corridor rail system, making it clear that he believes the first $6 billion in federal and state funding for California’s high-speed rail project should go to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

    http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/editorials/article19516710.html

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Yep Brown did nail it, Denham likes Blackmail…

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    He can not take that $6 Billion, that would be grand theft, since about 1/2 is State Money, and that’s not His to move. That would make Denham a Dirty Thief

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds like APTA and the Washington Times also need briefing.

    [Reply]

  78. Reality Check
    Apr 23rd, 2017 at 07:18
    #78

    Arrival of Las Vegas Raiders breathes new life into XpressWest HSR

    The recently completed investment grade ridership and revenue forecast study completed by Southern California’s High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority reiterated what longtime Las Vegas developer Tony Marnell has suspected all along — that there would be significant demand for the XpressWest high-speed rail project linking Southern California with Las Vegas he wants to build.

    President Donald Trump’s desire to invest in infrastructure projects, the favorable ridership study and a new reason for Southern Californians to make quick trips to Las Vegas in a few years — NFL football games, concerts and other special events — add up to new hope to press forward on the $7 billion rail project that has been under consideration for more than a decade.

    Marnell discussed the study, the Trump administration’s role and the Raiders in an exclusive interview last week with the Review-Journal.

    […]

    [Reply]

  79. Roland
    Apr 23rd, 2017 at 15:47
    #79

    Here come the latest, cleanest and fastest locos in the United States (with built-in I-ETMS).
    Brian Kelly, Caltrans, Capitol Corridor and the San Joaquins get it: http://scvtv.com/2017/04/20/caltrans-news-flash-introducing-the-charger-locomotive/

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Fastest Diesels, not Electric Locos…

    [Reply]

    Jerry Reply:

    So on which route will the new charger-locomotive go the fastest?

    [Reply]

  80. Ted K.
    Apr 24th, 2017 at 15:44
    #80

    BART’s latest embarrassment:

    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/BART-takeover-robbery-50-to-60-teens-swarm-11094745.php

    [Reply]

    Ted K. Reply:

    (note: I’m aarond)

    [Reply]

  81. Aarond
    Apr 24th, 2017 at 16:14
    #81

    The East Bay Times reported on Sen. Feinstein’s luncheon hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group: Sen. Dianne Feinstein urges Silicon Valley to fight Republicans on Caltrain funding

    Without the electrification project, Bay Area leaders say, congestion on Bay Area roads will continue to increase. And Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, worries about the economic impact a major delay would have on the companies located along the Caltrain corridor. Those companies, he said, generate 14 percent of the state’s GDP.

    Matt Mahood, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Organization, formerly the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, told the town hall that Bay Area leaders “have to say on message that Silicon Valley’s economy is a driver for not just the state of California, but for the rest of the country, and that we are worthy of investment from the federal government to help keep our economic engine humming.’’

    U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, said “this project was tailor made for the funding programs in the Department of Transportation. It’s 9,000 American jobs; it’s infrastructure; it’s reducing CO2 by 97 percent along the corridor. … These are stunning numbers.”

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    Someone needs to brief my friend Carl about the economic impact of cutting Caltrain’s capacity down to nearly half of the 2012 capacity analysis.

    [Reply]

  82. Roland
    Apr 24th, 2017 at 16:28
    #82

    Breaking News: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/04/24/high-speed-rail-monterey-highway-tunnel-san-jose.html.

    Are we having fun yet?

    [Reply]

    zorro Reply:

    Paywalled.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    CEQA will require HSR study alternatives for the EIR. We know the EIR will be litigated. A tunnel along south Monterey HW will be considered to inoculated the EIR from lawsuits.
    Previously NIMBY peninsula residents of Atherton sued the program EIR (PIER) arguing future impacts to this section of Monterey HW were not adequately communicated to local residents.
    http://blog.aklandlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/282/2014/09/Town-of-Atherton-v_-California-High-Speed-Rail-Aut.pdf
    Petitioners challenge the adequacy of the revised final program environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (PEIR/EIS) and the approval of the Pacheco Pass network alternative as the route for the high-speed train (HST) system to connect the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley
    Second, the revised final PEIR failed to disclose significant impacts resulting from removing the HST right-of-way from the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way, especially the impact of the removal of two lanes from the Monterey Highway and the need for a vertical alignment through cities on the Peninsula. [*11]
    They eventually lost but the impact to Monterey HW is still an issue/risk thus a tunnel option will be studied to better complete and thus protect this EIR.

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    and this was the outcome

    The trial court agreed with the Atherton I petitioners, finding the revised final PEIR failed to adequately address the traffic impacts of narrowing and moving Monterey Highway to accommodate the Pacheco Pass alignment. It rejected the remaining contentions of the Atherton I petitioners. The court found it proper to defer analysis of the impacts of the vertical alignment until the second-tier project analysis. The challenges to the modeling failed; the court found the dispute was a “classic disagreement among experts that often occurs in the CEQA context.”

    The court disagreed in relevant part with the Atherton II petitioners, finding the alternatives analysis complied with CEQA and there was no abuse of discretion in refusing to consider the Setec alternative. While the court did reject the Authority’s argument that the challenge to the alternatives analysis was barred in its entirety by collateral estoppel, it questioned whether some specific challenges were [*13] so barred.

    Due to the deficiencies in analysis of the traffic impacts on Monterey Highway, the court denied the motion for discharge of the writ. The court issued a supplemental peremptory writ ordering the Authority to rescind and set aside the resolution certifying the revised final PEIR (Atherton II).

    [Reply]

  83. morris brown
    Apr 24th, 2017 at 20:31
    #83

    High-speed rail still on wrong track

    from this editorial — priceless:


    Even the job-creation argument is suspect. We are reminded of the story about economist Milton Friedman visiting the site of a canal project during a trip to Asia in the 1960s. He noticed that the canal was being built by many workers with mere shovels and inquired as to why there was no heavy earth-moving equipment. “You don’t understand,” a government bureaucrat who accompanied him replied. “This is a jobs program.” Upon hearing this, Friedman retorted: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    And why?

    The point is that not all work is productive work, and those high-speed rail workers’ efforts could be put to better use than for an unnecessary bullet train project that will likely require massive ongoing taxpayer subsidies, and that relatively few people will use.

    Like what other effort?

    Remember HSR began as an ARRA project in the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression with depressed construction and unemployment in the CV.

    There were and are no opportunity costs.
    You idiots would return the 3.8 billion to the Feds.

    But more laughingly is Morris recently scoffed at the HSR employment as being too small.

    Today Morris tells us HSR is a wasted opportunity cost. Now it’s. It insignificant if he can find a negative thing to say about the project.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    2017 Fresno unemployment rate is over 9%
    The first time since 2007 unemployment is under 10%
    http://www.fresnobee.com/news/business/article127784964.html

    Calif rate is 5%
    US rate is 4.7%
    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/california/

    No credible argument exists that HSR is taking labor from other projects.

    [Reply]

    Roland Reply:

    No credible argument exists that HSR is having any impact on unemployment rates in the CV.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Spamming the comments.

    [Reply]

  84. Roland
    Apr 25th, 2017 at 02:40
    #84
  85. Aarond
    Apr 25th, 2017 at 03:29
    #85

    Please meet the big guns (people who REALLY understand what HSR is about): http://live.wavecast.co/highspeedrail/live-feed/

    [Reply]

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